CBS NEWS – Routinely drinking alcohol — as little as one drink a day — is associated with an increase in blood pressure readings, even in adults without hypertension, according to new research analysis.
The research published Monday in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension analyzed data from seven international studies and found that people who drank even one alcoholic beverage per day were more likely to have higher blood pressure when compared to non-drinkers.
“We found no beneficial effects in adults who drank a low level of alcohol compared to those who did not drink alcohol,” senior study author Dr. Marco Vinceti, said in a news release.
“We were somewhat surprised to see that consuming an already-low level of alcohol was also linked to higher blood pressure changes over time compared to no consumption — although far less than the blood pressure increase seen in heavy drinkers.”
The analysis included data from more than 19,000 adults in the United States, Korea and Japan. Alcohol consumption was based on grams of alcohol consumed, not number of drinks, in order to keep measurements consistent across countries with differing types of beverages and sizes of “standard drinks.”
After reviewing the data of all participants for more than five years, researchers found the systolic, or top number, blood pressure rose:
1.25 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) in people who consumed an average of 12 grams of alcohol per day …