1. Of 96 alcoholics admitted for detoxification, 48% were hypertensive (systolic blood pressure > 140 mmHg and/or diastolic pressure > 90 mmHg).
2. Elevation of both systolic and diastolic blood pressures was related to the severity of alcohol-withdrawal symptoms.
3. After these symptoms had abated only 9% of patients remained hypertensive.
4. Blood pressure remained normal if patients abstained from alcohol after discharge but rose in those who started drinking again.
5. Hypertension was not consistently related to the presence or severity of alcoholic liver disease.
6. Alcohol-related hypertension may be the result of the alcohol-withdrawal syndrome; increased noradrenergic activity is suggested as the likely mechanism.