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Study finds link between youth drinking and elevated blood pressure

July 12, 2012
by Gary Enos
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 A study conducted in Australia has found alcohol consumption in boys to be one of the lifestyle factors related to elevated blood pressure in late adolescence. The same link was not apparent for girls.

The Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort Study followed for up to 17 years a total of 2,868 children born to women in Perth between 1989 and 1992. Systolic blood pressure in boys was found to be significantly associated with alcohol consumption, as well as with body mass index (BMI) and urinary sodium.

The link with alcohol remained apparent even when the study results were adjusted for BMI, according to the researchers. Raised blood pressure in girls was associated with use of oral contraceptives but not with use of alcohol.

Study investigator Chi Le-Ha of Royal Perth Hospital said in a news release from the European Society of Cardiology, “Adolescents need to be aware that a lifestyle which predisposes to fatness, high salt intake and alcohol consumption may lead to adverse health consequences in adult life. The effects are additive and already associated with hypertension.”