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Beverage specific alcohol intake in a population-based study: Evidence for a positive association between pulmonary function and wine intake

Author(s): Sch√ľnemann Holger | Grant Brydon | Freudenheim Jo | Muti Paola | McCann Susan | Kudalkar Deepa | Ram Malathi | Nochajski Tom | Russell Marcia | Trevisan Maurizio

Journal: BMC Pulmonary Medicine
ISSN 1471-2466

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 3;
Date: 2002;
Original page

Abstract Background Lung function is a strong predictor of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. Previous studies suggest that alcohol exposure may be linked to impaired pulmonary function through oxidant-antioxidant mechanisms. Alcohol may be an important source of oxidants; however, wine contains several antioxidants. In this study we analyzed the relation of beverage specific alcohol intake with forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) in a random sample of 1555 residents of Western New York, USA. Methods We expressed pulmonary function as percent of predicted normal FEV1 (FEV1%) and FVC (FVC%) after adjustment for height, age, gender and race. To obtain information on alcohol intake we used a questionnaire that reliably queries total alcohol and beverage specific recent (past 30 days) and lifetime alcohol consumption. Results: Using multiple linear regression analysis after adjustment for covariates (pack-years of smoking, weight, smoking status, education, nutritional factors and for FEV1%, in addition, eosinophil count), we observed no significant correlation between total alcohol intake and lung function. However, we found positive associations of recent and lifetime wine intake with FEV1% and FVC%. When we analyzed white and red wine intake separately, the association of lung function with red wine was weaker than for white wine. Conclusion While total alcohol intake was not related to lung function, wine intake showed a positive association with lung function. Although we cannot exclude residual confounding by healthier lifestyle in wine drinkers, differential effects of alcoholic beverages on lung health may exist.
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