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Booze blush 'a blood pressure risk'

Thursday November 21st 2013

People who go red in the face after drinking alcohol might need to keep an eye on their blood pressure, Korean scientists claim.

The risk of alcohol-related high blood pressure - hypertension - is greater in those who get a rosy glow when having a drink, according to the study published online in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

If people who become facially flushed when drinking consume more than four drinks a week, the risk is said to be considerably higher.

"Facial flushing after drinking is always considered as a symptom of high alcohol sensitivity or even intolerance to alcohol, unless a patient is taking special medicine," said lead researcher Dr Jong Sung Kim, from Chungnam National University School of Medicine.

This kind of facial flushing is typical in people who are genetically unable to break down acetaldehyde, the first metabolite of alcohol, he added.

The researchers analysed the medical records of 288 non-drinkers, 527 flushing drinkers and 948 non-flushing drinkers.

Dr Kim said the results suggest facial flushing, as well as the amount drunk by a patient, should be considered by doctors when evaluating the individual risk posed by drinking alcohol.

Copyright Press Association 2013

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