3. Recommendations on alcohol consumption

Campbell, Norman R. C.; Ashley, Mary Jane; Carruthers, S. George; Lacourcière, Yves; McKay, Donald W.
May 1999
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;5/04/99 Supplement, Vol. 160, p13
Academic Journal
Objective: To provide updated, evidence-based recommendations concerning the effects of alcohol consumption on the prevention and control of hypertension in otherwise healthy adults (except pregnant women). Options: There are 2 main options for those at risk for hypertension: avert the condition by limiting alcohol consumption or by using other nonpharmacologic methods, or maintain or increase the risk of hypertension by making no change in alcohol consumption. The options for those who already have hypertension include decreasing alcohol consumption or using another nonpharmacologic method to reduce hypertension; commencing, continuing or intensifying antihypertensive medication; or taking no action and remaining at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Outcomes: The health outcomes considered were changes in blood pressure and in morbidity and mortality rates. Because of insufficient evidence, no economic outcomes were considered. Evidence: A MEDLINE search was conducted for the period 1966-1996 with the terms ethyl alcohol and hypertension. Other relevant evidence was obtained from the reference lists of articles identified, from the personal files of the authors and through contacts with experts. The articles were reviewed, classified according to study design, and graded according to the level of evidence. Values: A high value was placed on the avoidance of cardiovascular morbidity and premature death caused by untreated hypertension. Benefits, harms and costs: A reduction in alcohol consumption from more than 2 standard drinks per day reduces the blood pressure of both hypertensive and normotensive people. The lowest overall mortality rates in observational studies were associated with drinking habits that were within these guidelines. Side effects and costs were not measured in any of the studies. Recommendations: (1) It is recommended that health care professionals determine how much alcohol their patients consume. (2) To reduce blood pressure in the population at large, it is recommended that alcohol consumption be in accordance with Canadian low-risk drinking guidelines (i.e., healthy adults who choose to drink should limit alcohol consumption to 2 or fewer standard drinks per day with consumption not exceeding 14 standard drinks per week for men and 9 standard drinks per week for women). (3) Hypertensive patients should also be advised to limit alcohol consumption to the levels set out in the Canadian low-risk drinking guidelines. Validation: These recommendations are similar to those of the World Hypertension League, the National High Blood Pressure Education Program Working Group on Primary Prevention of Hypertension and the previous recommendations of the Canadian Coalition for High Blood Pressure Prevention and Control and the Canadian Hypertension Society. They have not been clinically tested. The low-risk drinking guidelines are those of the Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario and the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. Sponsors: The Canadian Hypertension Society, the Canadian Coalition for High Blood Pressure Prevention and Control, the Laboratory Centre for Disease Control at Health Canada, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. The low-risk drinking guidelines have been endorsed by the College of Family Physicians of Canada and several provincial organizations.


Related Articles

  • Highlights.  // American Journal of Hypertension;Nov2009, Vol. 22 Issue 11, p1131 

    The article discusses two reports published within the issue, which are study on the role of alcohol consumption on the development of cardiovascular deaths among men by Matthew Freiberg and colleagues and another study on the role of blood pressure control on improvement in diastolic...

  • Alcohol Drinking Patterns and Blood Pressure. Russell, Marcia; Cooper, M. Lynne; Frone, Michael R.; Welte, John W. // American Journal of Public Health;Apr91, Vol. 81 Issue 4, p452 

    Background: Although blood pressure tends to increase with average alcohol consumption, little is known about the effects of drinking patterns on blood pressure. Therefore, the effects of average drinks per day and drinking pattern (defined as the independent and interactive effects of quantity...

  • Community Norms of Alcohol Usage and Blood Pressure: Tecumseh, Michigan. Harburg, Ernest; Ozgoren, Feridun; Hawthorne, Victor M.; Schork, M. Anthony // American Journal of Public Health;Aug1980, Vol. 70 Issue 8, p813 

    Abstract: This research examines the relationship between alcohol usage and blood pressure in the adult population of a small community in Michigan, Findings suggest that blood pressure varies with alcohol usage linearly for men with a slight dip at 1-2 drinks per week, and curvilinearly for...

  • Think ABOUT THE SHAPE OF YOUR DRINKING GLASS.  // Good Health (Australia Edition);Jan2013, p16 

    The article reports that according to British experts, people drink alcohol twice as slowly from a straight glass than from a curved glass.

  • RAISE THE RIGHT GLASS. N. R. // Yoga Journal;Nov2015, Issue 278, p14 

    The article discusses a study by the University of Bristol researchers, which shows association between shape of the glass and intake of beer, with glasses with a curved design leading to faster drinking as compared to straight-sided ones, as with curve it looks like that there is more in the cup.

  • Know when to stop?  // Gay Times (09506101);Dec2009, Issue 375, p78 

    A quiz about personal drinking habits is presented.

  • Sibling Interaction and Sibling Similarity for Alcohol Use. Rose, Richard J. // Alcohol Health & Research World;1998, Vol. 22 Issue 2, p140 

    Reports on the use of adoption studies to investigate the relative contributions of genetic and environmental influences on drinking behavior. Findings of studies on adoptive siblings; Information on a study that analyzed factors modulating sibling interaction and sibling similarity for alcohol...

  • Drink to your health? Acosta, Kim; Potera, Carol // Shape;Sep2005, Vol. 25 Issue 1, p131 

    Presents information on three studies related to the physiological effects of drinking alcoholic beverages.

  • HOW TO DO A BODY SHOT.  // Ralph;Oct2009, p162 

    The article offers step-by-step instructions for doing a body shot.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics