Alcohol consumption and blood pressure in a group of young Australian males.
Baghurst KI., Dwyer T.
Several studies have suggested that regular consumption of alcoholic beverages is associated with hypertension. Recent studies, however, have implied tht whilst moderate or high ingestion of alcohol may be detrimental, a threshold exists for alcohol consumption below which alcohol may even exert a beneficial effect. As part of a larger study of a male, service population (average age 23 years) undergoing an initial training course of ten weeks duration, we measured both blood pressure and alcohol consumption in 350 men at entry and/or exit from the course. Alcohol intake was assessed using a supervised, self-administered dietary questionnaire which included two pre-tested measures of alcohol consumption. High alcohol consumption in these young men was not related to elevated systolic or diastolic blood pressure; neither was the recently reported lowering of blood pressure in low alcohol consumers compared to non-drinkers, apparent in this young population. The lack of relationship between alcohol consumption and blood pressure in this predominantly young group suggests that the relationship, if there is one, between these two factors only becomes clinically obvious either with longer exposure to alcohol, or in an older age group in whom the mechanism of control of blood pressure may already be somewhat compromised by other age-related physiological changes which are not readily measurable.