Intake of alcohol and risk of adult-onset asthma.

Respir Med. 2011 Nov 28 Lieberoth S, Backer V, Kyvik KO, Skadhauge LR, Tolstrup JS, Grønbæk M, Linneberg A, Thomsen SF. Department of Respiratory Medicine, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.

AIM: To examine the association between intake of alcohol and risk of adult-onset asthma.

METHODS: Using data from two multidisciplinary questionnaire surveys we prospectively studied 19,349 twins, 12-41 years of age, from the nationwide Danish Twin Registry.

RESULTS: The eight-year incidence of asthma was 4.3%. After adjustment for sex, age, BMI, physical activity, educational level and smoking, the risk of new-onset asthma was significantly related to overall alcohol intake in a U-shaped manner with the lowest risk observed in the group with a moderate weekly intake of alcohol (1-6 units/week), p = 0.006. The highest risk of asthma was observed in rare/never drinkers (<1 unit/month), OR = 1.59 (1.25-2.02), p = 0.000, whereas the risk of asthma in heavy daily drinkers (&#8805;4 units/day) was also increased, however not statistically significant, OR = 1.13 (0.54-2.36), p = 0.747. The risk of new-onset asthma was lower for subjects with wine preference (3.3%) compared with beer preference (4.3%) or no preference (4.4%). After multivariable adjustment, wine preference was inversely related to incident asthma compared with beer preference. However, this finding was not statistically significant, OR = 0.87 (0.51-1.46), p = 0.590.

CONCLUSION: Alcohol intake is associated with new-onset asthma in adults with a U-shaped association between amount of alcohol intake and the risk of asthma.

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