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Drinking wine, particularly white wine, may help keep lungs healthy, UB study finds

ATLANTA, Ga. -- Drinking wine appears to be good for the lungs, a University at Buffalo study has shown, and in this case, the primary credit goes to white wine rather than red.

In research presented here today (May 20, 2002) at a meeting of the American Thoracic Society, Holger Schunemann, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine and social and preventive medicine in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, reported that drinking wine recently and over a lifetime was associated with better lung function.

The study found no association between lung function and total amount of alcohol consumed (some previous studies had found a negative effect), nor between lung health and alcohol from beer, wine coolers or liquor.

"This finding may indicate that nutrients in wine are responsible for the positive effect of alcoholic beverages on lung function," said Schunemann. "Red wine in moderation has been shown to be beneficial for the heart, but in this case the relationship was stronger for white wine."

UB researchers conducted the study in a random sample of 1,555 white and African-American residents of Western New York. They collected comprehensive information about current and lifetime alcohol consumption and lifestyle habits, including diet, and took body measurements.

All participants performed standard lung-function tests, which measured the volume of air they could expel in one breath -- referred to as forced vital capacity (FVC) -- and the volume forcibly expelled in one second (FEV1).

To assess alcohol consumption, researchers defined those who had fewer than 12 drinks during their lifetime as "never drinkers" and those who were drinkers but had consumed no alcohol in the past month as "non-current drinkers." The remaining "current drinkers" reported the type of alcoholic beverage they drank and how often, the size of each drink, patterns of consumption and how often they drank more than usual.

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Contact: Lois Baker
ljbaker@buffalo.edu
716-645-5000 x1417
University at Buffalo
20-May-2002


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