People may be able to bring down their blood pressure by drinking less alcohol, according to researchers from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
Alcohol consumption carries an increased risk of high blood pressure, but previous studies have not demonstrated conclusively whether reduced consumption results in a lowering of blood pressure.
In a systematic review of 15 clinical trials that have investigated the effect of alcohol reduction on blood pressure, the researchers found in 9 of 15 trials reducing alcohol intake showed significant drops in systolic blood pressure, which is the top number in a blood pressure reading. Diastolic blood pressure--the lower number--declined significantly in 8 of the 15 studies.
The greatest drop in blood pressure was seen among patients with the highest blood pressure before treatment and those who cut their alcohol consumption the most. These findings indicate that a reduction in alcohol intake among heavy drinkers significantly reduces systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
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