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Medical study links heavy drinking and high blood pressure.

Results of a major international study published in the British Medical Journal confirmed a strong link between heavy alcohol consumption and high blood pressure. The study found that a pattern of binge drinking was particularly harmful.

The study of nearly 10,000 mean and women in 35 countries found that heavy drinkers had blood pressure significantly higher that non-drinkers, whether or not they had consumer alcohol during the previous 24 hours.

"This shows that the link is not an acute effect of recent drinking or the result of alcohol withdrawal in heavy drinkers," the study said.

Heavy drinkers were defined as those consuming 3 to 4 or more drinks a day. The study also concluded that consuming alcohol on a regular basis was less damaging for blood pressure that periodic binge drinking.

"This suggest that the pattern of intake may be important aster taking account of the amount drunk," the study said.

The study concluded that the link between elevated blood pressure and alcohol consumption were independent of other risk factors like high salt intake, obesity and smoking.

The researchers were led by Professor Michael Marmot of the University College Medical School of London. Chicago's Northwestern University Medical School and several other international medical bodies were also involved in the study.
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:May 23, 1994
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