Drinking eight or more alcoholic beverages a week may increase the risk of high blood pressure (also called hypertension) among adults with Type-2 diabetes, warn researchers.
“This is the first large study to specifically investigate the association of alcohol intake and hypertension among adults with Type-2 diabetes,” said senior study author Matthew J. Singleton from the Wake Forest University in the US.
Previous studies have suggested that heavy alcohol consumption was associated with high blood pressure, however, the association of moderate alcohol consumption with high blood pressure was unclear.
For the results published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the research team examined the relationship between alcohol consumption and blood pressure in more than 10,000 adults with Type-2 diabetes (average age 63 years in 61 per cent male).
Participants had Type-2 diabetes for an average of 10 years prior to enrolling in the study. In addition to 10 years with Type-2 diabetes, they were at an increased risk of cardiovascular events because they had pre-existing cardiovascular disease or had at least two additional cardiovascular disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking or obesity. In this study alcohol consumption was categorised as none, light (one to seven drinks per week), moderate (eight to 14 drinks per week) and heavy (15 or more drinks per week).
One alcoholic beverage was equivalent to a 12-ounce beer, 5-ounce glass of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. The number of drinks per week was self-reported by each participant via a questionnaire when they enrolled in the study.
The researchers found that light drinking was not associated with elevated blood pressure or either stage of high blood pressure.
However, moderate drinking was associated with increased odds of elevated blood pressure by 79 per cent, stage-one high blood pressure by 66 per cent and stage-two high blood pressure by 62 per cent.
The findings showed that heavy drinking was linked to increased odds of elevated blood pressure by 91 per cent, stage-one high blood pressure by 149 per cent (a 2.49-fold increase) and stage-two high blood pressure by 204 per cent (a 3.04-fold increase).
“People with Type-2 diabetes are at higher cardiovascular risk and our findings indicate that alcohol consumption is associated with hypertension, so limited drinking is recommended,” the study authors wrote.