Binge Drinking Risky with High Blood Pressure

Binging on alcohol may be especially dangerous for men with high blood pressure, or hypertension, researchers found.

Six or more drinks at a sitting boosted the risk of heart-related death more than fourfold for patients with severe hypertension compared with nondrinkers with normal blood pressure, found Dr. Heechoul Ohrr of Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues.

Twelve or more drinks at a time increased risk of dying from cardiovascular causes nearly 13-fold in the presence of severe hypertension, they reported in the October issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

The absolute risk for heart problems associated with binge drinking, while small for nondrinkers without hypertension at 0.2 percent per year in the study, jumped to a “nontrivial” 2.7 percent per year for these heavy binge drinkers with grade 3 hypertension, commented Dr. Brian Silver of the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

“In general, everybody should moderate their drinking, but in particular if you have elevated blood pressure there’s even more reason to control the consumption of alcohol,” he said in an interview.


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