Limiting Alcohol to Manage High Blood Pressure American Heart Association

Two review authors (ST and CT) performed data extraction independently using a standard data collection form, followed by a cross‐check. In cases of disagreement, the third review authors (JMW) became involved to resolve the disagreement. When necessary, we contacted the authors of studies for information about unclear study design. All extracted data were entered and double‐checked in RevMan 5.3 software (Review Manager (RevMan)). We are also moderately certain that high‐dose alcohol decreased blood pressure within six hours, and the effect lasted up to 12 hours. Heart rate increased significantly after alcohol consumption and remained increased at all times measured.

how does alcohol affect blood pressure

Alcohol causes a brief drop in blood pressure in the 12 hours after it is used but then creates a prolonged elevation in blood pressure. When alcohol is used repeatedly, the elevated blood pressure becomes chronic, leading to long-term high blood pressure. Individuals who drink alcohol in excess can help improve their overall health by stopping drinking. That means taking your blood pressure four times a day — twice in the morning and twice in the evening — for seven days in a row. However, even 12 measurements over three days is reasonable, especially if you include one weekend day, Dr. Juraschek says.

Find more top doctors on

Having higher levels of catecholamines causes the body to excrete less fluid through urine. Having more fluids in the body directly increases blood pressure levels. Since the kidneys excrete a tenth of ingested alcohol, toxicity in these organs is expected, which could enhance inflammation and renal damage in hypertensive patients. However, chronic kidney disease appears to be less common among drinkers. Notably, studies have shown that alcohol dehydrogenase variants occur in different individuals and that categorization according to variant nullifies the protective effect of moderate alcohol intake. On average, a regular heart rate is about 60 to 100 beats per minute when your body is at rest.

People who drink heavily for a long time are more likely to experience severe withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be managed with medication and supportive care. People who detox from alcohol should avoid drinking alcohol again, as this can worsen the withdrawal process.

Saito 2003 published data only

Being honest with a doctor is vital to understanding if alcohol abuse is something that should be diagnosed. Physicians and mental health experts use a combination of visual assessment and interview skills to accurately diagnose alcohol issues, including abuse, addiction and dependence. In some cases, a physical exam could be used to identify intoxication or withdrawal. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to preventing alcoholism, it is important to be aware of the risk factors and seek help if you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse.

  • A lot of people shouldn’t drink at all for specific reasons — family history of alcoholism or heart or liver disease, he says.
  • We are moderately certain that medium‐dose alcohol decreased blood pressure and increased heart rate within six hours of consumption.
  • Participants in those studies consumed alcohol regularly during the study period, whereas in our systematic review, we included only studies in which participants consumed alcohol for a short period.
  • A person only needs two signs and symptoms to receive an alcohol use disorder diagnosis.
  • We classified the remaining studies as having high risk of bias because the protocol was not registered and the study identifier was not reported.
  • Agewall 2000 measured blood pressure upon arrival of participants and did not measure blood pressure after the intervention.

Thus, in our review, we used up to 30 g alcohol intake for men and up to 20 g alcohol intake for women as a moderate dose, and above this limit as a high dose. In studies where sex‐specific results were not provided, we categorised how does alcohol affect blood pressure dose based on the dominating sex in terms of study participation. We classified seven studies as having high risk of bias (Agewall 2000; Bau 2011; Dumont 2010; Fazio 2004; Karatzi 2013; Maufrais 2017; Van De Borne 1997).

Droste 2013b published data only

But don’t expect any “all clears” for anything beyond light-moderate drinking. But if you’re younger than 50, particularly if you’re a woman, it’s not so clear. Studies have shown a rise in breast cancer risk in women under 50 from drinking alcohol. While most studies show this results from drinking more heavily (more than 1-2 drinks a day), Klatsky says some research indicates even light-moderate drinking could play a role in a younger woman’s risk of breast cancer. Second, lack of representation of the female population was notable in the included studies. Only four studies included almost equal numbers of male and female participants (Buckman 2015; Foppa 2002; Maufrais 2017; Zeichner 1985).

  • As alcohol use continues, the body and brain adjust to the neurochemistry changes caused by the alcohol.
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages on a regular basis – even if it’s just one drink per day – may raise blood pressure levels as you age, a new research analysis suggests.
  • Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure to unhealthy levels.

When noradrenaline stimulates the adrenergic receptors located in the heart muscles, heart rate and blood pressure are increased. We included 32 randomised controlled trials involving 767 participants published up to March 2019. Although these trials included adults from 18 to 96 years of age with various health conditions, most study participants were young healthy males. The source of funding was not reported for a majority of the studies. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

This systematic review searched only the MEDLINE database for relevant studies, hence it was not exhaustive. Review authors included nine studies involving a total of 119 participants, and the duration of these studies was between four and seven days. Participants in those studies consumed alcohol regularly during the study period, whereas in our systematic review, we included only studies in which participants consumed alcohol for a short period.

We classified the remaining 33 studies as having low risk of bias because heart rate was measured and reported. Different types of alcoholic beverages including red wine, white wine, beer, and vodka were used among 32 studies. The dose of alcohol ranged between 0.35 mg/kg and 1.3 g/kg, and alcohol was consumed over five minutes and over one hour and 30 minutes. We (ST and CT) independently screened the citations found through the database search using Covidence software (Covidence). We excluded articles if the citation seemed completely irrelevant or was identified as a review or observational study after the title and abstract were read. For remaining studies, we (ST and CT) retrieved full‐text articles for further assessment.