Washington : Put down your cocktails, kids. Binge drinking in your 20s can drive your blood pressure up to dangerous levels, according to a new study.
Young adults in their twenties who regularly binge drink have higher blood pressure which may increase the risk of developing hypertension, concludes a study conducted by researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM).
Binge drinking (i.e. consuming five or more alcoholic beverages in less than two hours), is quite prevalent.
Researchers found that the blood pressure of young adults aged 20 to 24 who binge drink was 2 to 4 millimetres of mercury higher than non-binge drinkers, says senior author Jennifer O’Loughlin.
The findings show that more than one in four young adults who binge drink meet the criterion for pre-hypertension (i.e., a systolic blood pressure between 120 and 139 millimetres of mercury). This is worrisome because this condition can progress to hypertension, which in turn can cause heart disease and premature death, says O’Loughlin.
Health professionals and others may need to adopt a preventive approach, recommends O’Loughlin: “Poor diet, salt intake, and obesity are predictors of high blood pressure. Since we know there is a link between higher blood pressure and the risk of developing chronic diseases, clinicians should ask young people about their alcohol consumption. A slight and continuous increase in systolic blood pressure may be an important warning sign.”
The study is published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. (ANI)