Page last updated: Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Alcohol drinking and risk of hospitalisation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
A recent study was presented at the CHEST meeting (The Annual International Scientific Assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians) found that moderate drinkers may be at lower risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

They studied 126,263 men and women who supplied baseline data at 1978–85 health examinations. Through 2004 a subsequent primary hospitalization diagnosis of COPD (ICD-9 codes 491–6, except 493) was made in 760 persons. COPD risk was estimated by Cox proportional hazards models including age, sex, ethnicity, education, smoking, body mass index, and 7 alcohol intake categories. Some models included a yes vs. no composite Coronary artery disease (CAD) risk/symptoms covariate.

With lifelong abstainers as referent, adjusted relative risks (RR), 95 % confidence intervals (CI) for COPD were: exdrinkers = 1.29 (0.95–1.74), < day =” 0.83”> 1–2 dr/day = 0.76 (0.61–0.94, p = 0.01), 3–5 dr/day = 0.85 (0.65–1.12), and > 6 dr/day = 1.52 (1.04–2.24, p = 0.03).

An alcohol-COPD J-curve was present in whites, African-Americans, ex-smokers, light smokers, heavy smokers, younger and older persons, and in subjects with either chronic bronchitis or other COPD diagnoses. However, the apparent benefit at moderate drinking levels was concentrated in women and subjects free of CAD history/symptoms.

Frequent wine drinking, both of red and white wine, was independently related to lower COPD risk. Covariate relations to COPD risk were as expected, with higher risk for older persons, men, smokers, and persons with low educational level.

These data show that, independent of smoking and CAD, moderate alcohol drinkers are at lower risk than lifelong abstainers of hospitalisation for COPD.

Source: Siu S, et al “Alcohol drinking and risk of hospitalization for COPD” CHEST Meeting 2008; 134: 19004S.

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