Moderate alcohol may reduce asthma risk

Sept. 25, 2011 at 11:33 PM

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Moderate amounts of alcohol may reduce the risk of asthma, researchers in Denmark suggest.

Sofie Lieberoth of the Bispebjerg Hospital in Amsterdam and colleagues found drinking one to six units of alcohol a week could reduce the risk of developing the asthma.

The researchers examined 19,349 twins ages 12-41. Alcohol intake was determined via questionnaire at the start and the end of the eight-year study.

The study found those with the lowest risk of asthma drank a moderate amount of alcohol -- less than 4 percent of those who drank one to six units per week developed asthma.

Those with the highest risk of asthma rarely or never drank, while heavy drinkers also had an increased risk of asthma development. Heavy drinkers were 1.2-times more likely to develop asthma.

"Whilst excessive alcohol intake can cause health problems, the findings of our study suggest that a moderate intake of one to six units can reduce the risk of developing asthma," Lieberoth said in a statement.

"By examining all the factors linked with the development of asthma, we can understand more about what causes the condition and how to prevent it."

The findings were presented at the European Respiratory Society's annual Congress in Amsterdam.

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