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Moderate Alcohol Consumption Tied to Hypertension Risk in Diabetes


A new research article found moderate and heavy alcohol intake were associated with hypertension in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Moderate alcohol consumption in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and elevated cardiovascular (CV) risk is associated with hypertension, according to new research published September 9, 2020 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

While heavy alcohol consumption has a well-established association with hypertension, the relationship between alcohol intake and hypertension in patients with T2D is not well known. To examine this relationship further, researchers analyzed data from 10 200 participants from the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) trial aged ≥40 years with T2D and elevated CV risk.

2017 ACC/AHA Hypertension Definitions:

Normal: 120/80 mm Hg
Elevated: 120-129 mm Hg
Stage 1: 130-139/80-89 mm Hg
Stage 2: 140-159/90-99 mm Hg

Blood pressure (BP) was measure at baseline and researchers collected self-reported information on alcohol intake per week.

Participants were categorized by weekly alcohol intake: No drinks, light (1-7 drinks/week), moderate (8-14 drinks/week), and heavy (≥15 drinks/week). BP was categorized as normal, elevated, stage 1 hypertension, and stage 2 hypertension, according to definitions in the 2017 the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines.

Results showed that light alcohol consumption was not linked with elevated BP (odds ratio [OR]=1.11; 95% CI, 0.93-1.31; P=0.25), stage 1 hypertension (OR=1.11; 95% CI, 0.85-1.45; P=0.45), or stage 2 hypertension (OR=1.02; 95% CI, 0.88-1.19; P=0.76).

Moderate alcohol intake was associated with elevated BP (OR=1.79; 95% CI, 1.04-3.11; P=0.03), stage 1 hypertension (OR=1.66; 95% CI, 1.05-2.60; P=0.03), and stage 2 hypertension (OR=1.62; 95% CI, 1.03-2.54; P=0.03).

Also, heavy alcohol intake was associated with elevated BP, stage 1 hypertension, and stage 2 hypertension (OR=1.91; 95% CI, 1.17–3.12; P=0.01; OR=2.49; 95% CI, 1.03–6.17; P=0.03; and OR=3.04; 95% CI, 1.28–7.22; P=0.01, respectively).

“In light of our findings, low risk and simple lifestyle modifications to temper alcohol consumption may have the potential for clinical and public health benefits via decreased rates of hypertension,” concluded authors.

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