More than one drink a day may increase high blood pressure risk in these people

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Scientists from Wake Forest University found drinking eight or more alcoholic beverages a week may increase the risk of high blood pressure among adults with type 2 diabetes.

The research is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association and was conducted by Matthew J. Singleton et al.

Previous studies have found that heavy alcohol consumption was linked to high blood pressure, however, the association of moderate alcohol consumption with high blood pressure was unclear.

In the study, the team examined the relationship between alcohol consumption and blood pressure in more than 10,000 adults with Type 2 diabetes (average age 63, 61% male).

All participants had type 2 diabetes for an average of 10 years prior to enrolling in the study.

In addition to 10 years with Type 2 diabetes, they were at increased risk for heart events because they had pre-existing heart disease or had at least two additional risk factors (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, or obesity).

In this study, alcohol consumption was categorized as none; light (1-7 drinks per week); moderate (8-14 drinks per week); and heavy (15 or more drinks per week).

One alcoholic beverage was equivalent to a 12-ounce beer, 5-ounce glass of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.

The team found light drinking was not linked to increased blood pressure or either stage of high blood pressure.

Moderate drinking was linked to increased odds of elevated blood pressure by 79%; Stage 1 high blood pressure by 66%; and Stage 2 high blood pressure by 62%.

Heavy drinking was linked to increased odds of elevated blood pressure by 91%; Stage 1 high blood pressure by 149% (a 2.49-fold increase); and Stage 2 high blood pressure by 204% (a 3.04-fold increase).

The more alcohol consumed, the higher the risk and severity of high blood pressure.

The team says both moderate and heavy alcohol drinking are linked to higher odds of high blood pressure among those with Type 2 diabetes.

Lifestyle modification, including tempering alcohol consumption, may be considered in patients with Type 2 diabetes, particularly if they are having trouble controlling their blood pressure.

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