Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biological Sciences (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Biological Sciences

Advisor 1

John J. Durocher

Advisor 2

William H. Cooke

Committee Member 1

Robert A. Larson


Acute alcohol consumption has been shown to increase blood pressure, while chronic heavy alcohol consumption is associated with the development of hypertension. Another factor that contributes to hypertension is arterial stiffness. While evidence suggests light to moderate alcohol consumption can decrease arterial stiffness, the impact of binge alcohol consumption on acute and overnight changes of arterial stiffness remains unknown. Twenty-seven participants (14 female; 13 male) received a binge alcohol dose or fluid control randomly one month apart. Alcohol or fluid control doses were administered in two equally divided allocates at 8 and 9 pm. A 1:3 mixture of 190 proof grain ethanol and fruit juice based on body weight and sex was administered for the alcohol dose (1g/kg men, 0.85g/kg women), while the fluid control was only fruit juice in equal volume. Arterial stiffness was recorded via applanation tonometry thirty minutes after the consumption of each dose and after waking the following morning. A tonometer was placed at the radial artery for pulse wave analysis. While gated to a three-lead electrocardiogram, a tonometer was placed at the carotid and femoral arteries for pulse wave velocity. Supine HR was higher after the 2nd dose of alcohol (Δ+4±2 bpm). The Fluid Control resulted in a lower supine HR after the 2nd dose (Δ-3±2 bpm) as well as in the morning (Δ-7±2 bpm). Our findings for carotid to femoral pulse wave velocity indicate that neither alcohol nor the fluid control significantly changed carotid to femoral pulse wave velocity. However, aortic augmentation index, when normalized to 75 beats per minute referred to as AIx75, was significantly decreased following the first alcohol dose (Δ-5±3%) as well as significantly increased in the morning (Δ+5±3%).