Changes in blood pressure (BP) and plasma urate produced by the bio-transformation of a moderate dose (0.75ml(20%) ethanol/kg body weight) of alcohol were determined after 1h, 6h (oxidation phase) and 12h (post oxidation phase) of consuming the alcohol dose. Twenty healthy Nigerians (ten males and ten females) were randomly selected for the study after their informed consent. Statistical analyses of the results using ANOVA showed a significant decrease (p<0.05) in BP and plasma urate in both sexes during the initial oxidation phase. These values, however, significantly increased at the post-oxidation stage (p<0.05) irrespective of sex. The changes in BP and plasma urate at the two different phases studied, showed a positive correlation, demonstrated to be stronger amongst the male subjects. However, no such relationship was demonstrated during the control exercise. This investigation implicates the increase in plasma urate, a remote metabolite of alcohol oxidation, as yet another risk factor for hypertension, known to be common amongst habitual ethanol drinkers. Further research is however, required to establish the mechanism (s) involved in such relationships.
Key Words: Blood pressure, plasma urate, hypertension, alcohol.
Global Jnl Medical Sciences Vol.2(2) 2003: 157-160