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Hypertension. 1995 May;25(5):1106-10.

Relationship of alcohol intake with blood pressure in young adults.

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Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass; USA.


The objective of this study was to examine the relationship of usual current alcohol intake with systolic and diastolic pressures among young adults. Participants were 316 men and women, aged 18 to 26 years, from East Boston, Mass. At each of three weekly visits we obtained three blood pressure measurements on each subject using a random-zero sphygmomanometer. Using an interviewer-administered questionnaire, we obtained information about quantity and frequency of alcohol intake during the previous month. The lowest systolic pressure levels were in subjects consuming 1 to < 2 drinks per day. Adjusted for age, sex, and body mass index, systolic pressure was higher by 4.0 mm Hg (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.5 to 7.6 mm Hg) in abstainers, 3.6 mm Hg (95% CI, 0.5 to 6.6 mm Hg) in those who drank < 1 drink per day, 0.4 mm Hg (95% CI, -4.7 to 5.5 mm Hg) in those who drank 2 to < 3 drinks per day, and 8.1 mm Hg (95% CI, 2.9 to 13.4 mm Hg) in those who drank > or = 3 drinks per day. Levels of diastolic pressure were lowest in those consuming 2 to < 3 drinks per day. Adjustment for pulse rate, smoking, medication use, and family history of hypertension did not alter the results. These results suggest a J-shaped association of alcohol intake with blood pressure level in young adults, with the lowest levels in consumers of 1 to 3 drinks per day.

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