Objective: The purpose of the present study was to determine the impact of alcohol consumption on the incidence of hypertension.
Methods: A total of 32 389 male coal mine workers from Kailuan Coal Group in northern China (Kailuan study), free of hypertension, myocardial infarction, stroke, transient ischemia attack and cancer, were followed up every 2 years for 4 years. The average alcohol intake during the past year was reported as baseline.
Results: During 4 years of follow-up, 9151 out of 32 389 workers developed hypertension categorically. At the end of the follow-up, the cumulative incidence of hypertension in relation to daily alcoholic intake of none, 1–24, 25–49, 50–99, 100–149 and at least 150 g was 25.03, 28.82, 30.10, 37.07, 40.14 and 42.49%, respectively. After adjusting for age, we found that the relative risk of hypertension in those who were never exposed to alcohol was the lowest, with the group 25–49 g/day being the next. This trend was unchanged after adjustment for age, exercise, smoking status, job type and salt intake. After further adjustment for BMI, history of high cholesterol and diabetes mellitus, a positive, linear association between alcohol consumption and the risk of hypertension was found. Models stratified by baseline SBP (<120 and 120–139 mmHg) or DBP (<80 and 80–89 mmHg) did not alter the trend.
Conclusion: The Kailuan study demonstrates that long-term alcohol intake is an independent risk factor of incident hypertension in a large cohort of coal mine workers. Even light-to-moderate alcohol consumption increases the risk of incident hypertension.