NEW ORLEANS, La. (KPEL News) - What effect does alcohol have on your health? Is it heart-healthy? How much is too much?

These questions have been researched, debated, and discussed for decades.

What about your blood pressure? How does drinking alcohol affect that?

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15 years ago, a report published in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Medicine highlighted links between alcohol consumption and higher blood pressure.

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“This study shows that alcohol intake may increase blood pressure to a much greater extent, even among moderate drinkers, than previously thought,” said Sarah Lewis, a researcher at the University of Bristol’s Department of Social Medicine and one of the authors of the report highlighted in this Reuters article.

This study came at a time when high blood pressure was linked with heavy drinking while moderate drinking was said by other studies to help lower cholesterol. Now, a new study from Tulane University published in the American Heart Association's journal Hypertension is not only saying 'the more you drink the more your blood pressure increases' but it's also showing that a beer a day can increase your blood pressure as well.

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“I think it’s pretty clear now it doesn’t really matter how you get alcohol," says co-author of the study Dr. Paul Whelton as he addresses whether wine has less of an effect than alcohol in this Louisiana Radio Network article. "It has the same effect whether it’s in wine, beer, spirits, etc., If you’re not drinking, don’t start."

The observational study of 20,000 participants was conducted over a 24-year period.

The bad health effects of high blood pressure can include:

  • stroke
  • heart failure
  • heart attack
  • kidney failure

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