Alcohol consumption and blood pressure in black adults: the Pitt County Study.
While there is a clear consensus in the epidemiologic literature on the direct association between alcohol consumption and blood pressure, the shape of this relation and its strength in blacks are uncertain. Therefore, the association between alcohol and blood pressure was examined in a community-based random sample of 1,784 black adults aged 25 to 50 years living in eastern North Carolina. These individuals were interviewed in 1988 for a study of psychosocial and dietary risk factors for elevated blood pressure. Alcohol consumption was estimated from responses to a food frequency questionnaire and was divided into four categories, which ranged from abstention (52% of the sample) to greater than or equal to seven drinks/week (12%). After adjustment for age and body mass, the systolic blood pressure of adults reporting greater than or equal to seven drinks/week exceeded that of nondrinkers by 6.8 mmHg for men and women (p less than 0.001). There was no evidence of a threshold effect, and similar patterns were observed for diastolic blood pressure. Being in the highest category of alcohol consumption was related to low socioeconomic status, lower social integration, and higher levels of socioeconomic stressors. These data are consistent with a graded association between alcohol and blood pressure in black adults and suggest the importance of social factors underlying this association.
Strogatz, DS; James, SA; Haines, PS; Elmer, PJ; Gerber, AM; Browning, SR; Ammerman, AS; Keenan, NL
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