Binge Drinking And Blood Pressure – What’s The Connection?

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on December 29, 2016 · 0 comments

Binge drinking, having five or more drinks in two hours, is very prevalent in young adults, aged 18 to 24. It is estimated that four out of every 10 young adults frequently binge drink, on average four times a month. Binge drinking is already connected with increased accidents and hospitalizations for alcohol intoxication, but a new study now connects this drinking behavior with high blood pressure.

The study found that one in four young adults who binge drink had prehypertension which can easily progress to high blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk for heart disease. Less than 10% of young men and 7% of young women have high blood pressure. But in those that binge drink 25% showed symptoms of the problem.

Will the blood pressure return to normal when this risky drinking behavior changes? Will the short-term effect of binge drinking increase the likelihood of high blood pressure as the person gets older? In these young binge drinkers when is the right time to intervene to treat high blood pressure? All these questions remain unanswered. Unlike alcohol addiction, binge drinking is often driven by peer pressure and it can stop. What would motivate young people to change this behavior is another question.

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