Effect of alcohol on blood pressure PMC

Completely refraining from consuming alcohol lowers the risk of some of the health risks listed above. Although some of those effects can occur without alcohol consumption, avoiding alcohol helps decrease the risks. Alcohol consumption increases the amount of calcium that binds to the blood vessels. This increases the sensitivity of the blood vessels to compounds that constrict them. Over two billion people drink, with the highest per capita consumption in the European Union (EU). People who drink regularly consume a mean of 33 g of anhydrous alcohol per day, with beer being the most common alcoholic beverage.

Why does alcohol lower my blood pressure?

Alcohol lowers blood pressure in some people in the short term. But this effect is almost always temporary. The BP-lowering effect of alcohol is due to a release of several substances, such as nitric oxide or NO, that cause blood vessels to widen, which lowers BP.

Too much alcohol can also worsen reduced blood pressure, resulting in more dizziness, drowsiness, and possible fainting. The combination of smaller blood vessels and more fluids increases the chances of hypertension. Alcohol elevates the blood levels of the renin compound, which results in the blood vessels constricting, making them smaller in diameter.

I’ve read that red wine is heart healthy — can I drink as much as I’d like?

While some people develop a tolerance to alcohol over time, this isn’t true for everyone — and this ability doesn’t last forever, Dr. Cho notes. If you think you or someone you know is experiencing any symptoms of an overdose, it is imperative that you get emergency medical help right away. K Health offers affordable and convenient access to highly qualified doctors to treat and manage high blood pressure, as long as you are not having a hypertensive crisis.

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On the other hand, Fantin 2016 allowed participants to continue drinking during the period of outcome measurement. These differences in alcohol consumption duration and in outcome measurement times probably contributed to the wide variation in blood pressure in these studies and affected overall results of the meta‐analysis. We did not consider the lack of blinding of participants as a downgrading factor for certainty of evidence because we do not think that it affected the outcomes of this systematic review.

Overall completeness and applicability of evidence

Mean difference (MD) from placebo with 95% confidence interval (CI) was the outcome measure, and a fixed-effect model was used to combine effect sizes across studies. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you will need to work with your physician to develop a plan to manage it. In some cases, hypertension can be reversed through lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and reducing or eliminating alcohol intake. There is a significant amount of data to show that drinking large quantities of alcohol, whether it is a spirits, beer, or wine, can increase the risk of developing hypertension. Holiday heart syndrome can happen if you don’t typically drink alcohol, but then have a few at a holiday party or if you binge drink. This can cause you to develop an irregular heartbeat, called atrial fibrillation, which can increase your risk of stroke, heart attack and heart failure.

  • According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), researchers have found that nearly all drugs impact the circulatory system, specifically the cardiovascular system, which regulates heart function.
  • The I² statistic was used to interpret the level of heterogeneity (Higgins 2011).
  • We excluded 450 trials after reviewing the full‐text articles, and we recorded the reasons for exclusion (see table Characteristics of excluded studies table).
  • Ultimately, this can induce cardiovascular changes, leading to high blood pressure.
  • Most of the evidence from this review is relevant to healthy males, as these trials included small numbers of women (126 females compared to 638 males).

As a result, the body overcompensates by releasing more vasopressin, which can cause an increase in blood pressure. Tasnim, Sara; et al. “Effect of alcohol on blood pressure.” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, July 2020. Detox is the process of a substance being metabolized and removed from the body. Alcohol detox may cause mild to severe symptoms, depending on https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/how-does-alcohol-affect-your-blood-pressure/ how long a person used alcohol and how much they tended to drink. In a recent study by The Recovery Village, 44% of respondents reported abusing alcohol in an attempt to ease uncomfortable feelings that stem from underlying anxiety. Individuals who do not experience withdrawal symptoms will likely see the positive effects of giving up alcohol shortly after doing so.

Search methods for identification of studies

Regardless of your age or medical history, take the time to get an annual medical check-up, which will include a blood pressure test. Since hypertension often has no clear signs or symptoms, taking a blood pressure reading is the only way to diagnose it. Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, affects nearly half of the U.S. adult population and can be a result of many factors—one of them being alcohol consumption.

how does alcohol affect your blood pressure

On average, a regular heart rate is about 60 to 100 beats per minute when your body is at rest. But alcohol can lead to your heart rate temporarily jumping up in speed, and if it goes over 100 beats per minute, it can cause a condition called tachycardia. Too many episodes of tachycardia could lead to more serious issues like heart failure or going into irregular rhythms, which can cause heart attack and stroke. Depending on the level of damage done to the circulatory system, it may be possible to reverse some of it.

One study ‐ Nishiwaki 2017 (a single‐blinded study) ‐ ensured participant blinding but not blinding of outcome assessors. Karatzi 2005, Mahmud 2002, Maule 1993, and Potter 1986 did not mention the method of blinding of outcome assessors. Even though Dumont 2010 mentioned blinding of outcome assessors, it is not clear whether blinding of outcome assessment was maintained in the case of blood pressure and heart rate measurements.

  • Alcohol can affect drinkers differently based on their age, sex, ethnicity, family history, and liver condition (Cederbaum 2012; Chen 1999; Gentry 2000; Thomasson 1995).
  • With professional help, you can begin repairing damage to your circulatory system.
  • Changes in blood pressure and heart rate after alcohol consumption were not the primary outcomes of interest in most of the included studies.

Drinking frequently or binging on a large amount of alcohol in a small period of time can lead to health problems. Studies have shown a link between alcohol and hypertension, or high blood pressure. Hypertension occurs when the pressure of blood against the artery walls becomes higher than normal. There is evidence that reducing alcohol intake can help lower blood pressure in those suffering from hypertension and even prevent its development.

Botden 2012 published data only

Alcohol withdrawal reverses the adverse impact of alcohol on endothelial function, with rapid normalization of the BP. The type of alcoholic beverage also determines the impact on health, with red wine being considered healthy, for instance, due to the high polyphenol content. Most importantly, masked hypertension, where patients are hypertensive at home but not in the doctor’s office, is as serious a health risk as sustained hypertension. Second, lack of representation of the female population was notable in the included studies. Only four studies included almost equal numbers of male and female participants (Buckman 2015; Foppa 2002; Maufrais 2017; Zeichner 1985). As a result, we were not able to quantify the magnitude of the effects of alcohol on men and women separately.

Several RCTs have reported the magnitude of effect of alcohol on blood pressure, but because those trials are small, their findings are not sufficient to justify a strong conclusion. In 2005, McFadden and colleagues conducted a systematic review of RCTs, which investigated the haemodynamic effects of daily consumption of alcohol (McFadden 2005). Based on nine RCTs in which participants consumed alcohol repeatedly over days, these review authors reported that alcohol increases SBP by 2.7 mmHg and DBP by 1.4 mmHg. However, they excluded studies for which the duration of BP observation was less than 24 hours and articles published in non‐English languages. We believe that inclusion of those studies will provide useful information about the dose‐related magnitude and time‐course effect of alcohol on blood pressure in people with both normal and elevated blood pressure. Another reason behind the heterogeneity was probably the variation in alcohol intake duration and in the timing of measurement of outcomes across the included studies.

Most studies gave participants 15 to 30 minutes to finish their drinks, started measuring outcomes sometime after that, and continued taking measurements for a certain period, but there were some exceptions. Chen 1986 did not report consumption duration nor timing of measurement of BP and HR. Dai 2002 gave participants five minutes to consume high doses of alcohol and measured outcomes immediately.

How much drinking is too much?

NIAAA defines heavy drinking as follows: For men, consuming more than 4 drinks on any day or more than 14 drinks per week. For women, consuming more than 3 drinks on any day or more than 7 drinks per week.

In the case of performance bias, we classified six studies as having low risk of bias, 19 studies as having high risk of bias, and seven studies as having unclear risk of bias. All outcomes of interest in the review (BP and HR) produced continuous data. We calculated and reported mean difference (MD), with corresponding 95% confidence interval (95% CI). It has also become clear over time that no amount of alcohol is considered safe for consumption, regardless of the type of alcohol. Let’s face it, a hangover in your mid-40s doesn’t feel the same as one in your early 20s. This is because your age plays a factor in how well you tolerate alcohol.