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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1986 Nov;22(5):521-6.

Plasma [3H]-noradrenaline kinetics and blood pressure following regular, moderate ethanol consumption.


Normotensive male volunteers (n = 8) either abstained from ethanol for 4 days or consumed 66 g of ethanol per day in an open, crossed, random order study. Mean arterial pressures rose by an average of 5.4 mmHg following the ethanol phase of the study (P less than 0.001). Plasma noradrenaline (NA) concentration was higher during ethanol ingestion (P less than 0.01), principally because of a significant reduction in NA clearance of -1.51 l min-1 m-2 (P less than 0.05). In contrast, NA spillover or release rates did not significantly differ between the two study periods. Total plasma calcium levels were significantly lower (P less than 0.05) following the ethanol compared to the control period. These data do not appear to support the proposition that regular alcohol consumption raises blood pressure by producing a generalised increase in sympathetic activity.

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