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What is the relationship between varying levels, from none to very heavy, of alcohol consumption and different levels of hypertension? This is relevant to men and women, young adults and older adults and various ethnicities. I am…

NOMINATED TOPIC | January 31, 2017
Briefly describe a specific question, or set of related questions, about a health care test or treatment that this program should consider.

What is the relationship between varying levels, from none to very heavy, of alcohol consumption and different levels of hypertension?

This is relevant to men and women, young adults and older adults and various ethnicities. I am interested in how strong the evidence is relating alcohol to both traditional and newer definitions of hypertension. If clinicians and the lay public increase awareness of the negative effects of alcohol on blood pressure significant positive effects on population health could occur.

Describe why this topic is important.

Hypertension is one of the leading medical problems in the United States. Recently, there is evidence from epidemiological studies that lower levels of blood pressure, i.e. less than the traditional 140/90, may be associated with long-term health problems. It is known that alcohol use is associated with increases in blood pressure often to the level of defined hypertension. Given that the majority of U.S. citizens consume alcohol what can we say about the relationship between alcohol use and hypertension, including impacts on newer definitions. Building awareness of this relationship could affect the attitudes of both clinicians and the lay public and motivate efforts to reduce drinking to improve blood pressure and improve health.

How will an answer to your research question be used or help inform decisions for you or your group?

A thorough and up-to-date review of this topic would be of great use to educate primary care physicians, public health systems, Medicaid/Medicare systems and the general public about the importance of the role of alcohol in contributing to one of the major health problems in the U.S.--hypertension--which is a contributor to cardiac disease, stroke, kidney disease and other health problems.

Other Information About You: (optional)
Please choose a description that best describes your role or perspective: (you may select more than one category if appropriate)
I am addiction psychiatrist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I conduct clinical trials in alcohol use disorders and have seen the value of educating individuals about the role of alcohol in high blood pressure. I have repeatedly seen patients who are able to come off BP meds after getting sober. It seems to me that alcohol is a hidden cause to the hidden killer. Not that much attention is being paid to this yet it could be affecting millions of individuals. I work with UNC's Shep's Evidence Based Center and have been involved in several evidence based reports.
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Please tell us how you heard about the Effective Health Care Program
From my colleagues at the Shep's Center, particularly Dr. Dan Jonas.
Page last reviewed November 2017
Page originally created January 2017

Internet Citation: What is the relationship between varying levels, from none to very heavy, of alcohol consumption and different levels of hypertension? This is relevant to men and women, young adults and older adults and various ethnicities. I am…. Content last reviewed November 2017. Effective Health Care Program, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
https://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/get-involved/nominated-topics/what-is-the-relationship-between-varying-levels-from-none-to-very-heavy-of-alcohol-consumption-and-different-levels-of-hypertension-this-is-relevant-to-men-and-women-young-adults-and-older-adults-and-various-ethnicities-i-am

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