Relationships Between Current and Past Binge Drinking and Systolic Blood Pressure in Young Adults



      Heavy episodic (i.e., “binge”) drinking (i.e., ≥five drinks/occasion) is highly prevalent among young adults; those who binge do so four times per month on average, consuming nine drinks on average on each occasion. Although it is well established that chronic heavy drinking (≥two alcoholic beverages per day) increases the risk of hypertension, the relationship between binge drinking and blood pressure is not well described. Our aim was to describe the relationship between frequency of binge drinking, both current (at age 24 years) and past (at age 20 years), and systolic blood pressure (SBP) at age 24 years.


      Participants (n = 756) from the longitudinal Nicotine Dependence in Teens study reported alcohol consumption at ages 20 and 24 years and had SBP measured at age 24 years. We examined the association between binge drinking and SBP using multiple linear regression, controlling for sex, race/ethnicity, education, monthly drinking in high school, cigarette smoking, and body mass index.


      Compared to nonbinge drinkers, SBP at age 24 years was 2.61 [.41, 4.82] mm Hg higher among current monthly bingers and 4.03 [1.35, 6.70] mm Hg higher among current weekly bingers. SBP at age 24 years was 2.90 [.54, 5.25] mm Hg higher among monthly bingers at age 20 years and 3.64 [.93, 6.35] mm Hg higher among weekly bingers at age 20 years, compared to nonbinge drinkers.


      Frequent binge drinking at ages 20 and 24 years is associated with higher SBP at age 24 years and may be implicated in the development of hypertension.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment


      Subscribe to Journal of Adolescent Health
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Puddey I.M.
        • Beilin L.J.
        Alcohol is bad for blood pressure.
        Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2006; 33: 847-852
        • Yoshita K.
        • Miura K.
        • Morikawa Y.
        • et al.
        Relationship of alcohol consumption to 7-year blood pressure change in Japanese men.
        J Hypertens. 2005; 23: 1485-1490
        • Chen L.
        • Smith G.D.
        • Harbord R.M.
        • Lewis S.J.
        Alcohol intake and blood pressure: A systematic review implementing a Mendelian randomization approach.
        PloS Med. 2008; 5: e52
        • Fuchs F.D.
        • Chambless L.E.
        • Whelton P.K.
        • et al.
        Alcohol consumption and the incidence of hypertension: The atherosclerosis risk in communities study.
        Hypertension. 2001; 37: 1242-1250
        • Sesso H.D.
        • Cook N.R.
        • Buring J.E.
        • et al.
        Alcohol consumption and the risk of hypertension in women and men.
        Hypertension. 2008; 51: 1080-1087
        • Corrao G.
        • Bagnardi V.
        • Zambon A.
        • La Vecchia C.
        A meta-analysis of alcohol consumption and the risk of 15 diseases.
        Prev Med. 2004; 38: 613-619
        • Dyer A.R.
        • Cutter G.R.
        • Liu K.
        • et al.
        Alcohol intake and blood pressure in young adults: The CARDIA study.
        J Clin Epidemiol. 1990; 43: 1-13
        • Brummett B.H.
        • Babyak M.A.
        • Siegler I.C.
        • et al.
        Systolic blood pressure, socioeconomic status, and biobehavioral risk factors in a nationally representative US young adult sample.
        Hypertension. 2011; 58: 161-166
        • Marmot M.G.
        • Elliott P.
        • Shipley M.J.
        • et al.
        Alcohol and blood pressure: The INTERSALT study.
        BMJ. 1994; 308: 1263-1267
        • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
        Results from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of national findings.
        2012 (Available at:) (Accessed April 18, 2013)
        • Pajak A.
        • Szafraniec K.
        • Kubinova R.
        • et al.
        Binge drinking and blood pressure: Cross-sectional results of the HAPIEE study.
        PLoS One. 2013; 8: e65856
      1. Adlaf E.M. Begin P. Sawka E. Canadian Addiction Survey (CAS): A National Survey of Canadians' Use of Alcohol and Other Drugs: Prevalence of Use and Related Harms: Detailed Report. Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, Ottawa2005 (Available at:) (Accessed April 10, 2013)
      2. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. What is a standard drink?. Available at: Accessed February 28, 2015.

        • Kanny D.
        • Liu Y.
        • Brewer R.D.
        • et al.
        Vital signs: Binge drinking prevalence, frequency, and intensity among adults—United States, 2010.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2012; 61: 14-19
        • O'Loughlin J.
        • Dugas E.N.
        • Brunet J.
        • et al.
        Cohort profile: The Nicotine Dependence in Teens (NDIT) study.
        Int J Epidemiol. 2015; 44: 1537-1546
        • Beevers D.G.
        Epidemiological, pathophysiological and clinical significance of systolic, diastolic and pulse pressure.
        J Hum Hypertens. 2004; 18: 531-533
        • Izzo Jr., J.L.
        • Levy D.
        • Black H.R.
        Clinical advisory statement. Importance of systolic blood pressure in older Americans.
        Hypertension. 2000; 35: 1021-1024
        • Strandberg T.E.
        • Pitkala K.
        What is the most important component of blood pressure: Systolic, diastolic or pulse pressure?.
        Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2003; 12: 293-297
        • Labarthe D.R.
        Project Heartbeat! Blood pressure manual of operations.
        University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX1992
        • Parati G.
        • Mancia G.
        Assessing the white-coat effect: Which blood pressure measurement should be considered?.
        J Hypertens. 2006; 24: 29-31
        • Garrison R.J.
        • Kannel W.B.
        • Stokes J.
        • Castelli W.P.
        Incidence and precursors of hypertension in young adults: The Framingham Offspring Study.
        Prev Med. 1987; 16: 235-251
        • Dawson D.A.
        • Grant B.F.
        • Stinson F.S.
        • Chou P.S.
        Another look at heavy episodic drinking and alcohol use disorders among college and noncollege youth.
        J Stud Alcohol. 2004; 65: 477-488
        • Steffens A.A.
        • Moreira L.B.
        • Fuchs S.C.
        • et al.
        Incidence of hypertension by alcohol consumption: Is it modified by race?.
        J Hypertens. 2006; 24: 1489-1492
        • Calhoun H.M.
        • Hemingway H.
        • Poulter N.R.
        Socio-economic status and blood pressure: An overview analysis.
        J Hum Hypertens. 1998; 12: 91-110
        • Wellman R.J.
        • Contreras G.A.
        • Dugas E.N.
        • et al.
        Determinants of sustained binge drinking in young adults.
        Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2014; 38: 1409-1415
        • Al-Safi S.A.
        Does smoking affect blood pressure and heart rate?.
        Eur J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2005; 4: 286-289
        • Maximova K.
        • O'Loughlin J.
        • Paradis G.
        • et al.
        Declines in physical activity and higher systolic blood pressure in adolescence.
        Am J Epidemiol. 2009; 170: 1084-1094
        • Mooney S.J.
        • Baecker A.
        • Rundle A.G.
        Comparison of anthropometric and body composition measures as predictors of components of the metabolic syndrome in a clinical setting.
        Obes Res Clin Pract. 2013; 7: e55-e66
        • Evers S.E.
        • Hooper M.D.
        Dietary intake and anthropometric status of 7 to 9 year old children in economically disadvantaged communities in Ontario.
        J Am Coll Nutr. 1995; 14: 595-603
        • Bélanger M.
        • O'Loughlin J.
        • Karp I.
        • et al.
        Physical activity fluctuations and body fat during adolescence.
        Pediatr Obes. 2012; 7: 73-81
      3. Institute for Digital Education. Regression diagnostics. Chapter 2 in Regression with SPSS, Los Angeles: UCLA. Available at: Accessed March 12, 2015.

        • Stevens J.P.
        Outliers and influential data points in regression analysis.
        Psychol Bull. 1984; 95: 334-344
        • Weisberg S.
        Applied linear regression.
        Wiley, New York1980
        • Cook R.D.
        Detection of influential observations in linear regression.
        Technometrics. 1977; 19: 15-18
        • Chobanian A.V.
        • Bakris G.L.
        • Black H.R.
        • et al.
        The seventh report of the joint national committee on prevention, detection, evaluation, and treatment of high blood pressure: The JNC 7 report.
        JAMA. 2003; 289: 2560-2572
        • Zucker R.A.
        Anticipating problem alcohol use developmentally from childhood into middle adulthood: What have we learned?.
        Addiction. 2008; 103: 100-108
      4. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Drinking levels defined. Available at: Accessed July 4, 2015.

        • Vasan R.S.
        • Larson M.G.
        • Lelp E.P.
        • et al.
        Assessment of frequency of progression to hypertension in nonhypertensive participants in the Framingham Heart Study: A cohort study.
        Lancet. 2001; 358: 1682-1686
        • Miura K.
        • Daviglus M.L.
        • Dyer A.R.
        • et al.
        Relationship of blood pressure to 25-year mortality due to coronary heart disease, cardiovascular diseases, and all causes in young adult men: The Chicago heart association detection project in industry.
        Arch Intern Med. 2001; 161: 1501-1508
        • Yano Y.
        • Stamler J.
        • Garside D.B.
        • et al.
        Young and middle-aged adults and 31-year risk for cardiovascular mortality: The Chicago heart association detection project in industry study.
        J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015; 65: 327-335