Limiting Alcohol to Manage High Blood Pressure

Updated:Dec 13,2016

Moderation Matters: a change in drinking habits can affect your blood pressure  

Can excess alcohol affect your blood pressure?
Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension), your doctor may advise you to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink.

Preventing high blood pressure
Limiting alcohol consumption can also help to prevent high blood pressure.

AHA Recommendation

If you drink, limit your alcohol consumption to no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one drink per day for women. A drink is one 12 oz. beer, 4 oz. of wine, 1.5 oz. of 80-proof spirits or 1 oz. of 100-proof spirits.

I’ve read that red wine is heart healthy — can I drink as much as I’d like?
Unfortunately, red wine as a miracle drink for heart heath is a myth. The linkage reported in many of these studies may be due to other lifestyle factors rather than alcohol. Like any other dietary or lifestyle choice, it’s a matter of moderation.

If you need help
If cutting back on alcohol is hard for you to do on your own, ask your healthcare provider about getting help.

Learn more

This content was last reviewed October 2016.

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