Vojnosanitetski pregled 2004 Volume 61, Issue 6, Pages: 629-635
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Alcohol consumption, arterial blood pressure and general mortality rate: Twenty-years follow-up study

Jakovljević Branko, Stojanov Vesna J., Paunović Katarina, Belojević Goran, Radosavljević Vladan

Background. Alcohol consumption has both adverse and beneficial effects on health and survival. The aim of this prospective study was to examine the association between alcohol consumption and arterial hypertension as well as general mortality rate. Methods. The study included 286 participants, middle-aged men and women examined in 1974, and again in 1994 during twenty years of follow-up (mean age at the beginning of the study 43.61±7.09 years). Alcohol consumption was assessed by the specific questionnaire. Consumption levels were grouped into three categories: rare drinkers (consuming less than 6 drinks a week), moderate drinkers, who consume 1-2 alcohol drinks a day and heavy drinkers (consumers of 3 or more drinks a day). Results. In both phases of the follow-up the lowest values of systolic and diastolic pressure were recorded in the group with moderate alcohol consumption, and the highest values in the group with excessive consumption. The observed differences were statistically significant. The general mortality rates were the highest among participants reporting excessive alcohol consumption (relative risk 3.2; 95% confidence interval 1.84-5.62), and among the abstainers (relative risk 1.8; 95% confidence interval 0.99-3.36), compared to the moderate consumption group. Conclusion. Analysis of the obtained results suggested the protective effect of moderate alcohol consumption on cardiovascular system.

Keywords: alcohol drinking, blood pressure, hypertension, mortality

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