Latest scientific news 04 December 2013

Facial flushing after alcohol Consumption indicates higher risk for hypertension

Individuals who experience facial flushing after drinking alcoholic beverages may have a higher risk for hypertension.

The consumption of alcoholic beverages is a risk factor for hypertension. Facial flushing after drinking is a typical symptom of high alcohol sensitivity. A Korean study now assessed the association between facial flushing and hypertension in a population of drinkers and non-drinkers. After adjusting for age, body mass index, exercise status, and smoking status, the risk of hypertension was significantly increased when flushers consumed more than 4 drinks per week. In contrast, in non-flushers, the risk of hypertension was increased with an alcohol intake of more than 8 drinks per week. The researchers concluded that hypertension associated with the consumption of alcoholic beverages has a lower threshold value and higher risk in flushers than in non-flushers and that clinicians should consider evaluating patients’ flushing response as well as drinking amount in a daily practice for health promotion.

Jung JG, Kim JS, Kim YS, et al. Hypertension Associated with Alcohol Consumption Based on the Facial Flushing Reaction to Drinking. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2013 Nov 20. doi: 10.1111/acer.12302. [Epub ahead of print]