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Alcohol consumption and risk for hypertension in middle-aged Japanese men

Nakanishi, Noriyukia; Yoshida, Hiroshia; Nakamura, Kojib; Suzuki, Kenjic; Tatara, Kozoa

Original paper: Epidemiology

Objective To investigate the association of alcohol intake with development of hypertension.

Design Longitudinal study (followed from 1990 to 1999).

Setting Work site in Osaka, Japan.

Participants Japanese male office workers (n = 1310) hypertension-free, with systolic blood pressure (SBP) less than 140 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure (DBP) less than 90 mmHg, no medication for hypertension, and no past history of hypertension, 30 to 59 years of age at study entry.

Main outcome measure Incidence of hypertension.

Results After controlling for potential predictors of hypertension, the relative risk for hypertension (SBP 140 mmHg or greater and/or DBP 90 mmHg or greater or receipt of antihypertensive medication) compared with non-drinkers was 1.52 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.05 to 2.19] for persons who drank 0.1 to 22.9 g/day of ethanol, 1.81 (95% CI, 1.29 to 2.54) for those who drank 23.0 to 45.9 g/day of ethanol, 2.12 (95% CI, 1.53 to 2.94) for those who drank 46.0 to 68.9 g/day of ethanol, and 2.48 (95% CI, 1.75 to 3.52) for those who drank 69.0 g/day of ethanol (for trend, P< 0.001). The relative risk for hypertension in current drinkers versus non-drinkers was stronger among men with a body mass index (BMI) less than 24.2 kg/m2 than among men with a BMI 24.2 kg/m2 or more, although the absolute risk was greater in more obese men.

Conclusions The risk for hypertension increased in a dose-dependent manner as alcohol intake increased in middle-aged Japanese men. The increased relative risk for hypertension associated with alcohol was more pronounced in leaner men.

aDepartment of Social and Environmental Medicine, Course of Social Medicine, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine F2, bMedical Office, Osaka Main Office, Takenaka Corporation and cJapan Labor and Welfare Association, Osaka, Japan.

Received 7 August 2000

Revised 13 November 2000

Accepted 3 January 2001

Sponsorship: This study was supported by Grand-in-Aid for the prevention of life-style-related diseases from the Arteriosclerosis Prevention Association, Tokyo, Japan.

Correspondence and requests for reprints to Noriyuki Nakanishi, Department of Social and Environmental Medicine, Course of Social Medicine, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine F2, 2-2 Yamada-oka, Suita-shi, Osaka 565–0871, Japan. Tel: +81 6 6879 3911; fax: +81 6 6879 3919; email:

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.