Moderate Alcohol Drinking Reduces Risk of Developing Asthma

Healthy people who rarely or never drink alcohol are much more likely to develop asthma than are those who drink in moderation, according to a study in Denmark.

Almost 20,000 asthma-free healthy Danes were surveyed in 1994 and again in 2002. The researchers found that, compared to moderate drinkers, abstainers and infrequent drinkers had a 46% greater risk of developing asthma. Heavy drinkers had a 26% greater risk compared to moderate alcohol consumers. In calculating risks, the researchers controlled or adjusted for age, sex, smoking, body mass index, and level of education.

A similar U-shaped curve has also been found for the relationship between alcohol consumption and the development of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and many other medical conditions.

Asthma is a common chronic (long-term) inflammatory disease of the airways and lungs. The disease has no cure and can be fatal.



  • Lieberoth, Sofie. European Respiratory Society (ERS) 2011 Annual Congress: Abstract 319. Presented September 25, 2011;
  • McCall, Becky. Moderate Alcohol Consumption Protective Against Asthma, Medscape Medical News, acc. Nov. 5, 2001.

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