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'Good' Cholesterol Won't Help Heavy-Drinking Older Men

Their high blood pressure stayed the same regardless of HDL level, study found

MONDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- High levels of "good" high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol do not protect against increased blood pressure in men who are heavy drinkers, a Japanese study finds.

The study of more than 21,000 men, ages 20-29 and 50-59, also found that older men were more susceptible than the younger men to blood pressure increases associated with heavy drinking.

Among men in both age groups, those with the lowest HDL levels had the highest blood pressure levels, whether they were nondrinkers, moderate drinkers, or heavy drinkers.

But researchers at the Hyogo College of Medicine found that young drinkers with low HDL levels were no more likely to have high blood pressure than young nondrinkers with similar HDL levels. However, young men who were heavy drinkers and had high HDL levels were more likely than young nondrinkers to have high blood pressure.

Among the older men, those who were light or heavy drinkers had significantly higher blood pressure than nondrinkers, regardless of their HDL levels.

The study is published in the September issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about high blood pressure.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Center for the Advancement of Health, news release, Aug. 27, 2007

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