The effects of 0.5 g ethanol/kg body weight and of an iso-volumic control drink were compared in eight normotensive subjects aged 70-96 years. Blood alcohol concentration reached a mean (+/- SEM) maximum of 44.4 +/- 5.0 mg/dl at 50 minutes after the start of drinking. Compared to control, alcohol increased mean sitting and standing heart rates by 3.4 +/- 1.3 (p = .08) and 5.4 +/- 1.9 (p <.05) beats/minute, respectively; mean venous haematocrit rose by 3.9 +/- 1.3% (p <.05). There were no significant changes in sitting or standing systolic or diastolic blood pressures after alcohol compared to the control drink. A single moderate dose of alcohol has only minor haemodynamic effects in normotensive elderly subjects. The rise in heart rate after alcohol may be a reflex response that helps to maintain blood pressure in the face of reduced circulating plasma volume due to alcohol-induced diuresis.
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||Journal of studies on alcohol|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 1991|