Hypertension: more than 650,000 cases linked to alcohol consumption exceeding recommended limits

About 624,000 men and 31,000 women are affected, according to a study published Tuesday by Public Health France. Their alcohol consumption exceeds 10 drinks per week.

More than 650,000 adults in mainland France, mainly men, suffer from high blood pressure due to alcohol consumption exceeding an average of 10 drinks per week, according to a study published on Tuesday (April 30) by Public Health France. In France, approximately one in three adults, which is approximately 17 million people, suffer from hypertension. Several risk factors have been identified, such as age, family history, low physical activity, a diet high in salt and low in fruit and vegetables, obesity, but also alcohol consumption.

In order to better measure the burden of alcohol, Public Health France sought to estimate the number of hypertension cases attributable to consumption exceeding recommended limits among people aged 18-74. In order to limit the impact of alcohol on health, reference values ​​for lower risk consumption (maximum 10 drinks per week, maximum two drinks per day and days per week without consumption) have been defined since 2017 and regularly communicated since then.

About 655,000 cases of high blood pressure before the age of 75 “would be associated with alcohol consumption exceeding an average of 10 drinks per week in continental France”, including 624,000 men and 31,000 women, estimates a study published in the Weekly Epidemiological Bulletin. Due to the lack of recent data on the frequency of hypertension overseas, the study is limited to mainland France. PUSH “significant difference” between men and women, the researchers say, is primarily due to greater alcohol consumption by men compared to women, but also by episodes of heavy drinking and binge drinking, which are more common in some than others.

The importance of prevention

Although they acknowledge certain methodological limits of their study, its authors see it as “minimum estimate of high blood pressure cases attributable to alcohol consumption, which turns out to be very high, and based on two robust and representative surveys of the French population, the Esteban Health Examination Survey and the Baromètre de Public Health France ». Faced with these results, the health agency emphasizes the importance of preventing alcohol consumption, but also managing hypertension.

Alcohol remains one of the main risk factors for disease and death in France, with more than 40,000 deaths. In addition to cardiovascular risks and cirrhosis, consumption of alcoholic beverages increases the risk of certain types of cancer. “If the French have reduced their alcohol consumption over the last thirty years, the level of consumption remains very high (…) both in the general population and in some sub-populations such as pregnant women.recalls France’s director general of public health, Caroline Semaille, in an editorial overseeing this epidemiological bulletin.

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