A brand new report on alcohol and blood pressure summarizes the best scientific research and provides a state-of-the-art overview of alcohol’s substantial causal role in the genesis of hypertension and related diseases.
For the first episode of the third season Maik Dünnbier discusses the findings and conclusions from the brand new, groundbreaking report with one of the co-authors Dr. Timothy Naimi.

The Alcohol Issues Podcast – Season 3 Episode 01

This podcast episode is part of Movendi International’s work to support an evidence-based approach to protecting more people from alcohol harm.

Two quotes from the report outline the importance, urgency, and potential of the subject of this podcast:

  1. Especially alcohol as risk factor for hypertension has not yet been given the attention it deserves in policy, guidelines and clinical practice.
  2. The role that alcohol consumption can play in the development of high blood pressure is not well understood by the general public, by healthcare providers or by health policymakers.

In this conversation Dr. Tim Naimi talks in-depth about alcohol and blood pressure – and what societies, law makers, health systems and people can do about it.

The conversation

The conversation covers a range of topics. Among others, Tim and Maik discuss questions, such as:

  1. Why does the issue of blood pressure matter in the context of alcohol harm? Why did you and your colleagues decide to write a research report about the issue?
  2. How does hypertension relate to heart disease in general? What is the global burden of hypertension? 
  3. Why is it important to know about alcohol’s effect on blood pressure?
    • What is alcohol’s causal role in hypertension?
  4. There is increasing scientific scepticism for the once widely held belief that low dose alcohol use can provide protection from cardiovascular diseases. Why is scepticism growing? What does the report add to this development?
  5. In the report you talk about “untapped potential for improved clinical practices and broad-based population-wide alcohol policies to prevent ill-health and prolong life.” Why do clinical guidelines matter and how does the report recommend alcohol should be addressed at the population level?
    • Why does alcohol policy matter for heart disease prevention?

The guest: Dr. Timothy Naimi

Dr. Timothy Naimi is currently the Director at the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, at the University of Victoria, BC, Canada.

He has worked as a physician for the U.S. Indian Health Service, and as a senior epidemiologist with the Alcohol Team at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and as professor in the Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine. His research interests include alcohol epidemiology, the health effects of substance use, and the impact of alcohol and cannabis policies. 

Tim is part of an international group of researchers that come together every year to dive deeply into a specific topic of alcohol research. They conduct extensive research to identify relevant published science on the selected topic. And then, the group reviews and summarizes the search results. This analysis is then published in a report. This year the report deals with alcohol and blood pressure and podcast host Maik Dünnbier has the chance to talk with Tim Naimi about the key findings, conclusions and what it all means.

Resources for the episode 

Movendi International has published more than 40 resources about the link between alcohol and heart disease, since 2015.

  • Research report: Alcohol and Blood Pressure.
  • Media Release: Even Small Amounts of Alcohol Can Be Harmful to Blood Pressure and the Heart
  • The World Heart Federation (WHF) published a policy brief in early 2022 that showed the strong evidence base that no amount of alcohol is good for the heart.
  • The Alcohol Issues Special Feature: “
  • Alcohol and Heart Disease: “What we know about alcohol’s role in multiple heart conditions and risk factors for negative cardiovascular outcomes”
  • Research report: Effects of low dose alcohol consumption.


Your feedback, questions, and suggestions for future topics and guests is most welcome. Please get in touch at: maik.duennbier@movendi.ngo.

You are most welcome to follow Movendi International and Maik Dünnbier on Twitter, too.

Listen to the episode

Listen to season 3, episode 01 of the Alcohol Issues Podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

About The Alcohol Issues Podcast

The Alcohol Issues Podcast is an original production by Movendi International. It’s a show about current alcohol issues of global importance. Through in-depth conversations with policy makers, community leaders and scientists, we explore alcohol policy issues, discuss landmark scientific studies, and expose the alcohol industry.

Source Website: Keep Updated with Movendi International