The aim of this study is to evaluate whether a changing population alcohol intake is capable of setting off a shift in the blood pressure distribution in the untreated part of a population. The focus is on subjects with an alcohol intake well below the limits of alcoholism because these subjects make out the majority of the population. The Copenhagen City Heart Study is a prospective longitudinal epidemiological study. The untreated study population was followed over 20years. Specially trained technicians using a blinded sphygmomanometer measured BP once with the subject in the sitting position. The BP measurement was fully standardised and the measurement method was unchanged throughout the observation period. A questionnaire concerning drinking habits was completed by the participants and double-checked by the technicians. The results were a decreasing population systolic BP and an increasing self-reported alcohol intake. The population increase was based on an increasing proportion of light to moderate drinkers. There was no effect of a moderately increasing alcohol intake as a covariate in a multivariate analysis of population systolic BP.
A moderately increasing population alcohol intake cannot explain the observed changes in population systolic blood pressure.