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

Holger J. Schunemann, Brydon J.B. Grant, Jo L. Freudenheim, Paola Muti, Susan E. McCann, Deepa Kudalkar, Malathi Ram, Tom Nochajski, Marcia Russell, Maurizio Trevisan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-173
Number of pages13
JournalSleep and Breathing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Airway obstruction
  • Alcohol
  • FEV1
  • Lung function
  • Wine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Clinical Neurology


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