High BP Plus Binge Drinking Tied to Increased Cardio Risk

Korean male binge drinkers with grade 3 hypertension at higher risk of cardiovascular death

FRIDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Korean males with grade 3 hypertension who engage in binge or heavy binge drinking are at substantially increased risk of cardiovascular mortality, even after adjusting for total alcohol consumption, according to a study published online Aug. 19 in Stroke.

Jae Woong Sull, Ph.D., of Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues evaluated 6,100 Korean individuals, aged 55 years and older, from March 1985 up to Dec. 31, 2005, to assess the combined effects of hypertension and binge drinking on the risk of cardiovascular mortality. Binge drinkers were defined as having at least six drinks on one occasion and heavy binge drinkers as having at least 12 drinks on one occasion.

Compared with nondrinkers with normal blood pressure, the investigators found that male heavy binge drinkers who had grade 3 hypertension had a 12-fold increased risk of cardiovascular mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 12.7), and that male binge drinkers with grade 3 hypertension had a four-fold increased risk of cardiovascular mortality (HR, 4.41), after adjusting for total alcohol consumption. When the researchers considered the effects separately, the HR for the effect of hypertension on cardiovascular mortality was 2.00, and the HR for the effect of heavy binge drinking on cardiovascular mortality was 1.88, compared with nondrinkers with normal blood pressure.

"In conclusion, compared with that of nondrinkers, mortality risks from total cardiovascular disease were high in heavy binge drinkers having ≥12 drinks on one occasion. Such a relationship markedly increased when heavy binge drinkers were hypertensive," the authors write.

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