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Keywords:

  • Age;
  • Alcohol;
  • Atherosclerosis;
  • Blood Pressure;
  • HDL Cholesterol

Background: Both blood pressure and HDL cholesterol are affected by alcohol drinking. However, it has not been determined whether association of alcohol drinking with blood pressure varies depending on blood HDL level.

Methods: The subjects were male workers aged 20 to 29 year and 50 to 59 year (n = 21,301), representing young and middle ages, respectively, who had received periodic health checkup examinations. The subjects were divided into tertile groups by serum HDL level, and they were further divided into 3 subgroups based on the average daily alcohol intake [nondrinkers, light drinkers (<30 g of ethanol per day) and heavy drinkers (30 g or more of ethanol per day)]. Blood pressure and incidence of high blood pressure were compared among the 3 alcohol subgroups in each age and HDL group.

Results: In the lowest HDL tertile of 20 to 29-year-old subjects, systolic and diastolic blood pressure and incidences of high systolic and diastolic blood pressure were not significantly different among the 3 alcohol subgroups. In the middle and highest HDL tertiles of the twenties age group, systolic and diastolic blood pressure was significantly higher in heavy drinkers than in nondrinkers, and incidences of high systolic and diastolic blood pressure were significantly higher in drinkers than in nondrinkers. On the other hand, in all HDL tertile groups of 50 to 59-year-old subjects, blood pressure was significantly higher in light drinkers and heavy drinkers than in nondrinkers, and incidences of high systolic and diastolic blood pressure were significantly higher in drinkers than in nondrinkers.

Conclusions: The results suggest that blood pressure of middle-aged men is elevated by alcohol drinking independently of blood HDL level and is more sensitive to drinking than is blood pressure of young men.