Drinking Alcohol May Protect Lungs and Improve Lung Function

Research conducted on over 177,000 members of the Kaiser Permanente health plan found that most drinkers had a lower incidence of lung disease and breathing problems than did alcohol abstainers.

People who drank up to two drinks of beer, wine or liquor (distilled spirits) a day were almost one-fifth less likely to show signs of lung disease than abstainers. Those who consumed three to five drinks per day had a 10% lower risk of lung disease. However, those who consumed seven or more drinks each day had a 9% increased risk of lung disease.

The research findings were presented at CHEST, the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians.


  • Siu, Stanton T., Iribarren, Carlos, Udaltsova, Natalia, Ranga, Rajeeva, James L. Chen, James L. and Klatsky, Arthur L. Alcohol consumption and lung function. Chest Meeting Abstracts, 2007, 132, 614b-615b.

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