Page last updated: September 24, 2012
Cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and risk of systemic lupus erythematosus

Systemic lupus erythematosus is a systemic autoimmune disease (or autoimmune connective tissue disease) that can affect any part of the body. The disease causes the immune system to attack the body’s cells and tissue, resulting in inflammation and tissue damage.
A research team from the Department of Preventive Medicine, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University Japan state that although cigarette smoking may be associated with increased risk of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the role of alcohol consumption is unknown. Their study  examined the association between SLE risk and smoking or drinking among 171 SLE cases and 492 healthy controls in female Japanese subjects. Unconditional logistic regression was used to compute OR and 95% CI, with adjustments for several covariates.
Compared with non smoking, current smoking was significantly associated with increased risk of SLE (OR 3.06, 95% CI 1.86-5.03). In contrast, light/moderate alcohol consumption had a protective effect on SLE risk (OR 0.38, 95% CI 0.19-0.76). The risks for non-beer drinkers and beer drinkers were similar. 
The authors say that their results show that smoking was positively associated with increased SLE risk whereas light/moderate alcohol consumption was inversely associated with SLE risk, irrespective of the type of alcoholic beverage. The authors call for additional studies to confirm these findings.
Source: Cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and risk of systemic lupus erythematosus: a case-control study in a Japanese population J Rheumatol. 2012 Jul;39(7):1363-70. Epub 2012 May 15.

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