Binge drinking may trigger onset of high BP in young adults

Binge drinking, described as having five or more drinks for a man and four or more drinks for a woman within 2 hours, can significantly raise the risk of precipitating the onset of high blood pressure in young adults, according to a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health in February 2016.

The study said that young adults in their 20s who regularly indulge in binge drinking are more likely to develop high BP, hypertension and other related chronic diseases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), binge drinking is more common among young adults aged between 18 and 34 in the United States. “Although college students commonly binge drink, 70 percent of binge drinking episodes involve adults aged 26 years and older and about 90 percent of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 in the U.S. is in the form of binge drinks,” it says.

If continued for a longer period, youngsters would have to seek treatment in an inpatient or an outpatient alcohol rehab center for detoxification. One may choose from the various alcohol rehab centers in Florida. A residential drug rehab treatment program is best suited for a chronic drug addict, as a residential program helps curtail the chance of a relapse significantly.

Binge drinking and high BP

Jennifer O’Loughlin, Ph.D., lead author of the study, said that young adults between the age of 20 and 24 who binge drink has 2-4 millimeters of mercury higher than non-binge drinkers.

The study collated alcohol consumption data at age 20 from 756 participants in the Nicotine Dependence in Teens study and another 1,294 young adults from diverse background in Montreal, since 1999. They again collected data at the age of 24 from the same individuals and this time they also collected the systolic blood pressure of the participants.

Binge drinking can cause heart disease and premature death

The study found that more than one out of four young adults who binge drink met the criterion for pre-hypertension. They had a systolic blood pressure between 120 and 139 millimeters of mercury.

This is an area of concern, according to O’Loughlin, as it can progress to hypertension, which in turn can cause heart disease and premature death.

The study also revealed that 85 percent of young adults who drink heavily at age 20 tend to maintain this behavior even at the age of 24. It is now to be seen whether the trend continues with the young binge drinkers when they reach 30. Hence a follow-up research is in the pipeline to study the trend of high blood pressure continuing till the time these young adults turn 30.

Prevention holds the key

The researchers called for preventive measures to counter the malady of binge drinking among young adults. A poor diet, excessive sodium intake and obesity are some of the precursors to high BP. The study emphasizes on taking into account the alcohol consumption habits of the young adults because there is a close link between high BP and chronic diseases. A slight and continuous increase in systolic blood pressure is not a very encouraging sign and should be addressed at the earliest. Cutting down on alcohol consumption and not indulging in binge drinking can minimize the risk factor to a great extent.

A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) says that every year 3.3 million deaths result from alcohol, which represents 5.9 percent of all deaths. An excessive alcohol intake is a major factor for more than 200 diseases. If a loved one has become an alcoholic, call the Florida Alcohol Addiction Helpline at our 24/7 helpline number 866-220-5381 for immediate assistance. We can assist you find the most effective alcohol addiction treatment in Florida.