Greater Alcohol Intake Increases the Risk for Hypertension, but Perhaps Not for Consumers of Red Wine
This prospective study among university graduates in Spain sought to assess whether an association exists between alcohol consumption (including beverage preference), days of consumption per week, and the risk of hypertension. Investigators followed 9963 men and women who did not have hypertension at baseline. Self-reported and validated data on diet and hypertension diagnoses were collected during a median (interquartile range) follow-up period of 4.2 (2.5–6.1) years. Five hundred fifty-four incident cases of hypertension were identified over a total of 43,562 person-years.
- The hazard ratio (HR) for hypertension was 1.28 among subjects who consumed alcohol ≥5 days per week compared with abstainers (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.97–1.7). Of these, those averaging ≥1 drink per day* had an HR of 1.45 compared with abstainers (95% CI, 1.06–2.00).
- The increased risk for hypertension was seen in beer or spirits drinkers only. Those consuming >0.5 drinks of beer or spirits per day (average consumption in this category, 16 g per day) was 1.53 compared with abstainers (95% CI, 1.18–1.99). In contrast, there was a nonsignificant inverse association between red wine intake and the risk of hypertension.