The 2013 movie “Blood Pressure” is a chilling tale of a 41-year-old woman who puts her life in danger because she was thirsty for release from her everyday existence. There’s a lesson in there for anyone with Type 2 diabetes who’s thirsty for a couple of drinks of alcohol a day. It may feel like it releases you from everyday stresses, but in truth, it just amps up your risk for high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.
A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association looked at the relationship between Type 2 diabetes, moderate alcohol consumption and high blood pressure. Using data on 10,000 participants in the four-year-long Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes study, the researchers discovered that light drinking (one to seven drinks a week) was not associated with elevated blood pressure. But moderate drinking (eight to 14 weekly) upped the risk for elevated blood pressure (between 120/80 and 129/;80mmHg) by 79% and for diagnosed HBP by 66%. They also saw that heavy drinking (15+ weekly) increases the odds of elevated blood pressure by 91% and the risk for severe HBP by 204%.
Heart disease is the number one complication of Type 2 diabetes, and HBP is a major contributor to diabetes complications such as retinopathy, kidney problems and, of course, stroke. So, if you have prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes, it makes all kinds of sense to make sure your alcohol intake is on the low, low end of light drinking.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.