High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
The relationship between alcohol and high blood pressure is complex.
While excessive alcohol consumption can lead to hypertension, moderate drinking might have some protective effects on the heart and blood vessels.
However, it’s vital to discuss the risks and benefits of alcohol consumption with a healthcare provider, especially if you have hypertension or other cardiovascular risk factors.
The Study: Brief Interventions for Alcohol Use
In a recent study conducted by Kaiser Permanente, scientists discovered that a short-term approach, known as a brief intervention (BI), aimed at moderating alcohol consumption can lead to better health outcomes for adults with high blood pressure.
The study examined the relationship between brief alcohol interventions in primary care and health outcomes among 72,929 adults with high blood pressure and 19,642 adults with type 2 diabetes who showed signs of unhealthy alcohol use.
Findings: Positive Impact of BI on Hypertensive Patients
The researchers found that hypertensive patients who received BI demonstrated a modest but significant additional reduction in their alcohol consumption, consuming 0.06 fewer drinks per drinking day and 0.30 fewer drinks per week compared to those who did not receive BI, after a year.
Moreover, those who underwent BI had higher odds of achieving a clinically meaningful reduction in diastolic blood pressure at 18 months.
No strong associations, however, were found between BI and drinking or health outcomes among patients with type 2 diabetes.
Conclusion: BI’s Role in Chronic Disease Prevention
The researchers suggest that brief interventions for unhealthy alcohol use may be an essential addition to primary care for chronic disease prevention, especially for those with high blood pressure.
By helping to moderate alcohol consumption, these interventions can contribute to better management of hypertension and consequently, better overall health outcomes.
Preventing High Blood Pressure
Managing high blood pressure often involves making healthy lifestyle choices, such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, limiting salt and alcohol intake, quitting smoking, managing stress, and having regular blood pressure check-ups.
This research adds to the growing body of evidence emphasizing the importance of lifestyle modifications in managing chronic health conditions.
If you care about blood pressure, please read studies about cannabis linked to blood pressure reduction in older people, and this common plant nutrient could help reduce high blood pressure.
For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies that Beetroot juice could help lower high blood pressure, and results showing vitamin D could improve blood pressure in people with diabetes.
The study was conducted by Felicia W. Chi and her team and published in BMJ Open.
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