Alcohol Consumption And Cardiovascular Mortality In Hypertensive Patients
Background: Alcohol drinking is associated with a dose-dependent increase in blood pressure, and JNC VI advises limiting alcohol consumption in patients with hypertension. Data are sparse on relationship between alcohol consumption and mortality in hypertensive patients. We therefore assessed whether alcohol consumption is associated with decrease in total, and cardiovascular mortality among subjects with hypertension. Methods: From the enrollment cohort of 89,251 men from the Physicians’ Health Study who provided self-reported information on alcohol intake and were free of myocardial infarction, stroke, cancer or liver disease at baseline, we identified a group of 14,125 persons with a history of current or past treatment for hypertension. Results: During 75,710 person-years of follow up, there were 1,018 deaths including 579 from cardiovascular disease and 224 from cancer. In multivariate analyses that controlled for several potential confounders, moderate alcohol intake was associated with significant decrease in cardiovascular mortality (P<0.001 for linear trend). Compared with non-drinking men, those who drank 1 to 3 drinks per month had a RR for cardiovascular mortality of 0.86 (CI 0.63-1.18, P=0.35); for 1 to 6 drinks per week, the RR was 0.64 (CI 0.51-0.81, P<0.001); for >= 1 drink per day the RR was 0.57 (CI 0.44-0.72, P<0.001). RR values for all-cause mortality in the same groups were respectively 0.89 (CI 0.70-1.15, P=0.38); 0.73 (CI 0.60-0.88, P=0.001); and 0.73 (CI 0.61-0.89, P=0.0014)(P=0.0025 for linear trend). On the other hand, we found no significant association between moderate alcohol consumption and cancer mortality (P=0.68 for linear trend). Conclusion: These results suggest that light to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a significant reduction in cardiovascular and all-cause mortality in patients with hypertension.