Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Hypertension linked to cholesterol levels and alcohol intake

Dr Puneet Tripathi explains how maintaining blood cheolesterol levels and limiting alcohol intake goes a long way in managing high blood pressure

Published: Feb 18, 2020 10:44:44 AM IST
Updated: Feb 18, 2020 12:01:06 PM IST

Hypertension linked to cholesterol levels and alcohol intake
While cholesterol helps your body function, too much of it can cause severe health issues including high blood pressure also known as hypertension. The excessive cholesterol can build up and eventually form plaque in the body’s arteries. These blockages in the arteries make it more difficult for oxygen-rich blood to pass through, causing a strain on your heart and increasing your blood pressure.

It is recommended that all adults aged 20 and above have their cholesterol checked every four to six years. Leading a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle is the key to healthy levels of cholesterol and blood pressure. To lower your cholesterol, eat a healthy diet and get 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. However, following lifestyle modifications, a failure to achieve a healthy cholesterol level, warrants the use of medicines. Medications can help you to control cholesterol levels, but diet and lifestyle changes remain the best ways to reduce the risk of high blood pressure. It’s also very important to take your medication exactly as your doctor has instructed.

Issued in Public Interest by USV PVT LTD 

For millions across the world, alcohol constitutes a regular part of the dining experience. It is often an important component of social events, celebrations, and milestones.  As per a recent study by German researchers, the total volume of alcohol consumed globally per year has risen by 70 per cent since 1990. In India, annual alcohol intake increased by 38 per cent between 2010 and 2017. It has been demonstrated that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to disorders related to blood pressure, liver, heart, brain and nervous system, and may also lead to anemia and cancer.

Studies suggest that chronic ethanol consumption (more than three drinks per day, 30 g ethanol) is associated with an increased incidence of high blood pressure (hypertension) and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Excessive drinking can lead to an average increase of 5-10 mmHg in the blood pressure. Alcohol impacts your blood pressure in several ways such as contributing to unwanted weight gain due to its calorie content and appetite stimulant properties, which in itself is a risk factor for high blood pressure.

Moreover, alcohol can interfere with the effectiveness and increase the side effects of some blood pressure medications. Thus it is suggested that even if you are drinking less than the recommended limits, lowering your alcohol intake will still be beneficial.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.