How does alcohol affect blood pressure?

Managing alcohol consumption and blood pressure can be a balancing act. The more heavily you drink, the higher your blood pressure will be, and vice versa. For example, if you take blood pressure medicine and cut back on your alcohol use, you might also eventually need to cut back on your blood pressure medication. Because alcohol can cause harmful interactions with different cardiovascular drugs, alcohol lowers blood pressure it’s usually not a good idea to combine alcohol and blood pressure medication. Sometimes, alcohol use can send blood pressure medication into overdrive, leading to dangerous blood pressure drops or adverse side effects. If someone isn’t sure whether they should combine alcohol with their blood pressure medication, they should speak to their doctor or pharmacist to obtain additional information.

We conducted meta‐analysis for the three dose groups (low dose, medium dose, and high dose of alcohol) separately. We considered statistical, clinical, and methodological heterogeneity between study populations and proceeded with the meta‐analysis if only we considered interventions, comparisons, and outcome measures similar enough to pool. When trials compared more than one dose of alcohol, we handled each comparison separately. Because all of our outcomes of interest provided continuous data, we used the inverse variance approach and a fixed‐effect model to combine effect sizes across studies. For low doses of alcohol, we found that one glass of alcohol had little to no effect on blood pressure and increased heart rate within six hours of drinking. Drinking excessive alcohol is considered one of the most common causes of raised blood pressure.

Argani 2016 published data only

A drink is 12 ounces (355 milliliters) of beer, 5 ounces (148 milliliters) of wine or 1.5 ounces (44 milliliters) of 80-proof distilled spirits. To understand how much alcohol is too much, it may be helpful to know the definitions of excessive drinking. If you want to cut down, a great way is to have several drink-free days a week. Test out having a break for yourself and see what positive results you notice. Even if you are drinking less than the recommended limit, you can still benefit from drinking a little less. The alcohol content of wine ranges from 11%-14% which means a single 175ml glass can contain between 1.9 and 2.4 units, and a 250ml glass can contain between 2.8 and 3.5 units.

People who drink heavily nearly always have high blood pressure, which can lead to other side effects, like fatty liver and heart disease. A person’s blood pressure usually drops once they stop misusing alcohol, but they may be at risk for hypertension again if they relapse and resume drinking. Going through a treatment program can help people learn to manage their alcohol use, to prevent more serious health problems from developing later on. Researchers were unable to study in-depth the relationship between age, blood pressure, and alcohol intake. There were risks for misclassifications, and it is possible that some participants changed alcohol consumption amounts during the follow-up time.

Roth 2018 published data only

The study author explained the blinding method in detail in an email, so we classified this study as having low risk of bias. In Barden 2013, treatment allocation was performed by a statistician who was not involved in the trial. Opaque sealed randomised envelopes were used in Cheyne 2004 and Foppa 2002, and random number allocator was used in Rosito 1999. It is important to note that information regarding the method of allocation concealment used in Foppa 2002 and Rosito 1999 was provided by the study author via email.

does alcohol decrease blood pressure

It now seems more likely , for example, that people who drink limited amounts of alcohol may also be more likely to engage in other healthy behaviors that lower their risk of hypertension. Additionally, alcohol use may affect people’s blood pressure differently based on their genetics, race and age. Anyone concerned about high blood pressure should cut back on their drinking and speak to their doctor about how alcohol use may be affecting their health. With moderate doses of alcohol, blood pressure (BP) went up for up to seven hours but normalized after that.

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