Impact of body weight on the relationship between alcohol intake and blood pressure

Alcohol Alcohol. 2009 Mar-Apr;44(2):204-10. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agn097. Epub 2008 Dec 2.


Aims: The reduction of habitual alcohol drinking is recommended for the prevention of hypertension. Daily or weekly alcohol consumption, which is used for evaluation of the effects of alcohol drinking on blood pressure, is usually not corrected by body weight. In this study, the influence of body weight on the relationship between alcohol intake and blood pressure was investigated.

Methods: The subjects (27,005 healthy men at ages of 35-54 years) were divided into four groups by average daily ethanol intake [non-, light (<15 g per day), moderate (>or=15 and <30 g per day) and heavy (>or=30 g per day) drinkers]. The subjects were also divided into four quartile groups by body weight.

Results: Alcohol intake and the percentage of drinkers were not different in the four quartile groups of body weight. In the first and second quartiles of body weight, systolic and diastolic blood pressures were significantly higher in moderate and heavy drinkers than in non-drinkers, while systolic and diastolic blood pressures in the fourth quartile of body weight were significantly higher in heavy drinkers than in non-drinkers but were not significantly different in moderate drinkers and non-drinkers. The differences in systolic or diastolic blood pressure between non-drinkers and moderate drinkers and between non-drinkers and heavy drinkers became greater as body weight decreased. These results were not altered when age and smoking history were adjusted.

Conclusions: The results suggest that body weight modifies the relationship between alcohol consumption and blood pressure and thus should be taken into account when effects of alcohol on blood pressure are considered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / physiopathology*
  • Alcoholism / physiopathology
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking / physiopathology
  • Temperance