"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Study: Even light alcohol consumption increases blood pressure

July 31, 2023 – Light alcohol consumption increases an individual’s systolic blood pressure – the upper number when measuring blood pressure – even when that person doesn't have hypertension. This is the results of a meta-analysis of 19,000 individuals who hypertensiona journal of the American Heart Association.

The researchers examined data from 19,000 individuals who participated in seven studies in Japan, South Korea and the United States conducted between 1997 and 2021. None of the people had hypertension after they participated within the study.

The study found that systolic blood pressure increased by 1.25 mmHg in individuals who consumed a median of 12 grams of alcohol per day and increased by 4.9 mmHg in individuals who consumed a median of 48 grams of alcohol per day. In the United States, 12 grams of alcohol is taken into account lower than one standard drink, the AHA said in a press release accompanying your studies.

Diastolic blood pressure (lower number) increased in response to drinking, but only in men, by 1.14 mmHg when the common consumption was 12 grams per day and by 3.1 mmHg when the common consumption was 48 grams per day.

“We found no beneficial effects in adults who drank little alcohol compared to those who did not drink alcohol,” said lead study creator Marco Vinceti, MD, PhD, professor of epidemiology and public health on the School of Medicine of the University of Modena and the University of Reggio Emilia in Italy.

“We were somewhat surprised that drinking even low levels of alcohol was also associated with greater changes in blood pressure over time compared with no drinking at all – although not nearly as great as the increase in blood pressure seen in heavy drinkers,” said Vinceti, who can be an associate professor within the Department of Epidemiology at Boston University's School of Public Health.

Vinceti said alcohol will not be the one “causative factor” for hypertension, nevertheless it does contribute “significantly”. He said it's advisable to limit alcohol consumption, nevertheless it is best to not drink in any respect.