August 23, 2010

Binge Drinking Worse For Men With High Blood Pressure

Researchers recently found that binge drinking may be especially dangerous for men with high blood pressure, or hypertension.

Dr. Heechoul Ohrr, of Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues found that six or more drinks at a sitting raised the risk of heart-related death more than fourfold for patients with high blood pressure.

The team reported that twelve or more drinks at a time increased risk of dying from cardiovascular causes nearly 13-fold in the presence of severe hypertension.

Dr. Brian Silver of the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit told ABC News that the risk for heart problems associated with binge drinking jumped to a "nontrivial" 2.7 percent per year for these heavy binge drinkers with grade 3 hypertension.

"In general, everybody should moderate their drinking, but in particular if you have elevated blood pressure there's even more reason to control the consumption of alcohol," he said in an interview.

Silver told ABC that the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than two drinks per day for men and one for women.

Ohrr's group reports that heavy drinking is common in South Korea, where nearly half of adult men binge at least once a week and 9.2 percent of women do the same.

Their study looked at over 6,100 residents of an agricultural community in South Korea for 20.8 years.

They found that 15.5 percent of the men had normal blood pressure and 17.8 percent of men had high blood pressure.  They said that 3.1 percent and 3.9 percent reported heavy binge drinking, which is considered 12 or more drinks at a sitting.

They reported in the October issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association that heavy binge drinking itself tended to be associated with a doubled risk of death from cardiovascular disease and hypertensive disease.


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