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Hypertension Associated with Alcohol Consumption Based on the Facial Flushing Reaction to Drinking

Authors

  • Jin-Gyu Jung,

    1. Department of Family Medicine, Research Institute for Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea
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  • Jong-Sung Kim,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Family Medicine, Research Institute for Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea
    • Reprint requests: Jong-Sung Kim, MD, PhD, Department of Family Medicine, Chungnam National University Hospital, 33 Munhwa-ro, Jung-gu, Daejeon 301 721, Korea; Tel.: +82 42 280 8172; Fax: +82 42 280 7879; E-mail: jskim@cnuh.co.kr

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  • Young-Seok Kim,

    1. Department of Family Medicine, Research Institute for Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea
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  • Mi-Kyeong Oh,

    1. Departments of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Ulsan, Gangneung Asan Hospital, Gangneung, Korea
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  • Seok-Joon Yoon

    1. Department of Family Medicine, Research Institute for Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea
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Abstract

Background

Alcohol is a risk factor for hypertension. Facial flushing after drinking is a typical symptom of high alcohol sensitivity. This study assessed the role of the facial flushing response in the relationship between alcohol consumption and hypertension.

Methods

The subjects were 1,763 men (288 nondrinkers, 527 flushing drinkers, 948 nonflushing drinkers) who had received a health checkup. Data were collected from the subjects' medical records. The risk of hypertension related to weekly drinking amount in nonflushers and flushers was analyzed and compared with that in nondrinkers.

Results

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 (more than 4 and up to 8 drinks: odds ratio [OR] = 2.23; above 8 drinks: OR = 2.35). In contrast, in nonflushers, the risk was increased with alcohol consumption of more than 8 drinks (OR = 1.61) per week. The OR (flushers/nonflushers) for hypertension was also increased: more than 4 and up to 8 drinks, 2.27 and above 8 drinks, 1.52.

Conclusions

These findings suggest that hypertension associated with alcohol consumption has a lower threshold value and higher risk in flushers than in nonflushers. Clinicians should consider evaluating patients' flushing response as well as drinking amount in a daily practice for health promotion.

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