Evidence for a Positive Association Between Pulmonary Function and Wine Intake in a Population-Based Study
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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. Alcoholic beverages may be an important source of oxidants and antioxidants. 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 with 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.