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Intake of alcohol and risk of adult-onset asthma

A study from Denmark examined the association between intake of alcohol and risk of adult-onset asthma. Using data from two multidisciplinary questionnaire surveys the researchers prospectively studied 19,349 twins, 12-41 years of age, from the nationwide Danish Twin Registry.
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). The highest risk of asthma was observed in rare/never drinkers (<1 unit/month) OR = 1.59, whereas the risk of asthma in heavy daily drinkers (≥4 units/day) was also increased, however not statistically significant, OR = 1.13. 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.
The authors conclude that 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.
Source: Intake of alcohol and risk of adult-onset asthma. Lieberoth S, Backer V, Kyvik KO, Skadhauge LR, Tolstrup JS, Grønbæk M, Linneberg A, Thomsen SF Respir Med. 2012 Feb;106(2):184-8. Epub 2011 Nov 29

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