Latest scientific news 22 March 2016

Binge drinking of young adults may increase risk of developing hypertension

The results of this study show that frequent binge drinking (whether current or past) in young adults is associated with a higher blood pressure.

Although it is established that chronic heavy drinking increases the risk of hypertension, little is known about the relationship between binge drinking and blood pressure in young adults. American and Canadian scientists thus aimed to assess the relationship between frequency of binge drinking, both current (at age 24 years) and past (at age 20 years), and systolic blood pressure (SBP) at age 24 in 756 participants from the longitudinal Nicotine Dependence in Teens study.

Compared to non-binge drinkers (never 5 or more drinks per occasion), SBP at age 24 years was 2.61 mm Hg higher among current monthly bingers (binge drinking = 5 or more drinks at one occasion) and 4.03 mmHg higher among current weekly bingers. Looking at past binge drinking at age 20, the SBP at age 24 years was 2.90 mmHg higher among monthly bingers at age 20 years and 3.64 mmHg higher among weekly bingers at age 20 years, compared to non-binge drinkers. The researchers concluded that frequent binge drinking of young adults is associated with a higher blood pressure and may pose a risk for developing hypertension.

Wellman RJ, Vaughn JA, Sylvestre MP, et al. Relationships Between Current and Past Binge Drinking and Systolic Blood Pressure in Young Adults. J Adolesc Health. 2016;58(3):352-7.

For more information about this article, read the scientific abstract here