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Editor's Correspondence
January 25, 1999

Failure of Alcohol Reduction to Lower Blood Pressure in the PATHS Trial

Arch Intern Med. 1999;159(2):195-196. doi:

The largely negative result of the Prevention and Treatment of Hypertension Study (PATHS)1 may be due to the fact that alcohol intake and blood pressure are not closely related at the levels of alcohol consumption observed. In 1987,2 we failed to detect an increase in systolic and diastolic blood pressure until male subjects (London Civil Servants) reported consuming 70 and 50 drinks of alcohol, respectively, per week (ethanol, 700 and 500 g/wk). In the PATHS trial, the average starting intake was reported as 440 g/wk. At this level, alcohol consumption may not be influencing blood pressure to a large extent; hence, the negative results.

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