It turns out, a glass of wine a day can actually kill you, a new study found. Contrary to the previous notion that a glass of wine a day might be beneficial, Scientists now say you shouldn’t drink alcohol at all! Even one small glass of wine a night can raise blood pressure, enhancing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Recent research conducted by experts at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia has raised concerns about the impact of alcohol on blood pressure and heart health, and they now advise against any alcohol consumption for heart health.
The study, which followed more than 20,000 participants for at least four years, found that even a small daily tipple, equivalent to a standard glass of wine or a 330ml beer, could lead to an increase in systolic blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure measures the force of blood against artery walls when the heart beats. Elevated systolic blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.
Participants who consumed an average of 12g of alcohol daily experienced a notable 1.25mmHg rise in systolic blood pressure compared to teetotalers. Surprisingly, those who drank even small amounts of alcohol showed similar increases in blood pressure as heavy drinkers.
Dr. Marco Vinceti, senior author of the study, highlighted that alcohol is not the sole contributor to blood pressure issues but does have a significant impact. He emphasized the importance of limiting alcohol intake and preferably avoiding it altogether for better heart health.
Furthermore, excessive alcohol consumption is well-known to elevate blood pressure, and the study found that heavier drinkers experienced even more substantial increases. Those consuming four times the average amount (48g of alcohol per day) saw their systolic blood pressure readings jump by 4.9mmHg.
The research also revealed that individuals with higher starting blood pressure readings had a stronger connection between alcohol intake and blood pressure changes over time. For individuals with increasing blood pressure but not yet diagnosed with hypertension, adopting a low to no alcohol consumption approach might be particularly beneficial.
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The study involved a comprehensive analysis of seven research projects conducted between 1997 and 2021, focusing on alcohol consumption and blood pressure in the US, Korea, and Japan. In total, 19,548 participants were included, all of whom had normal blood pressure levels at the beginning of the study.
Considering the critical role of blood pressure in overall heart health, experts recommend lifestyle changes such as exercise and, in some cases, medication to lower blood pressure to safer levels. Alongside alcohol consumption, other factors contributing to high blood pressure include obesity, excessive salt and caffeine intake, lack of physical activity, stress, and age.
Taking a holistic approach to addressing these factors can significantly improve heart health and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.