The effect of alcohol dose on the development of hypertension in Asian and Western men: systematic review and meta-analysis.
Background/Aims: There are inconsistencies in the effects of low to moderate dose alcohol consumption on the development of hypertension in adult men. We hypothesized that a region-specific effect might participate in this heterogeneity.
Methods: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the effect of alcohol dose on hypertension incidence using contemporary data through December 2017. Subjects were categorized according to their level of alcohol consumption as non-drinkers (reference) and low- (0.01 to 20.0 g/day), moderate- (20.1 to 40.0 g/day), moderate- to high- (40.1 to 60.0 g/day), and high-dose (> 60.0 g/day) drinkers. We defined hypertension as a blood pressure ≥ 140/90 mmHg and/or the use of anti- hypertensive drugs.
Results: In total, 11 articles (seven Asian and four Western) were selected for our analysis. Among Asian men, a significantly elevated risk was observed even in the low alcohol dose group in comparison with the group with no alcohol consumption, and the risk increased in a dose-dependent manner (pooled relative risks [95% confidence intervals (CI)]: 1.25 [1.13 to 1.38], 1.48 [1.27 to 1.72], 1.75 [1.43 to 2.15], and 1.78 [1.51 to 2.09]). Among Western men, a similar dose-response relationship was noted in general (p for subgroup difference > 0.1), but a significantly elevated risk was evident only in the high-dose group (pooled relative risks [95% CI]: 1.22 [0.85 to 1.74], 1.57 [0.90 to 2.75], 1.47 [0.44 to 4.91], and 1.49 [1.02 to 2.18]).
Conclusions: Even low doses of alcohol can lead to the development of hypertension, particularly in Asian men. Our findings could serve as additional evidence for developing an appropriate preventive strategy in each region.