Heavy Drinking and Smoking Put You at Risk For Hypertension
People who drink heavily are up to twice as likely to develop hypertension. Heavy drinking is usually defined as two or more alcoholic drinks a day. The more a person drinks, the higher their risk is. And yes, that includes red wine, which is often considered to be heart-healthy. Like most things, alcohol is best in moderation. Reducing alcohol consumption is one of the first things doctors recommend for people who have or are at high risk for high blood pressure. The relationship between smoking and hypertension is not as clear-cut. Smoking causes a temporary spike in blood pressure, but it’s unclear if the habit increases long-term hypertension risk. However, cigarette smoke is associated with plaque build-up in the arteries, a condition associated with high blood pressure. There’s no question that quitting smoking and not drinking excessively are beneficial to your cardiovascular health.