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Alcohol and hypertension

Posted Oct 03 2008 11:32am

I indulged in a couple of pints of Guinness today - and they were glorious! It’s been at least 6 months since I last had a pint of the black stuff. As per the old Guinness ads: “My Goodness My Guinness” indeed!

Of course, it got me thinking about the effects of alcohol on one’s blood pressure, so I fired up Google again and found the following information, none of which was very surprising:

There were a couple of sites that said alcohol was a no-no, but the majority stated that within moderation, alcohol shouldn’t adversely affect your blood pressure.

Here is what the Life Clinic had to say:

“How does alcohol affect blood pressure?

Numerous studies have shown that people who drink regularly tend to have higher blood pressure than those who do not. The relationship between alcohol intake and blood pressure may not be a simple one, however. The blood pressure of people who drink small amounts of alcohol (one or two drinks a day) may be a little lower than the pressure of nondrinkers. But people who have three or more drinks per day have a systolic pressure that is 3-4 mm Hg higher than nondrinkers and a diastolic pressure 1-2 mm Hg higher. With five or more drinks per day, the systolic pressure is typically 5-6 mm Hg higher than in nondrinkers, and the diastolic 2-4 mm Hg higher. Many of the studies that showed these associations between alcohol use and blood pressure were unable to show any influence of salt intake on blood pressure.”

Source: Life Clinic - How does alcohol affect blood pressure?

So I’ll stick to my glass of red wine with dinner every night, and the occassional treat of a few pints of Guinness ;-)

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