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Epidemiol Infect. 2010 Dec;138(12):1789-95. doi: 10.1017/S0950268810000774. Epub 2010 Apr 12.

Alcohol consumption as a risk factor for pneumonia: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Public Health and Regulatory Policy, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The aim of this study was to quantify the association between alcohol consumption and incidence of pneumonia and to examine possible pathways. This was done by a systematic review and meta-analyses on the dose-response relationship between alcohol consumption or alcohol-use disorders and the incidence of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). The relative risk (RR) of CAP increased monotonically with increasing alcohol consumption. Individuals consuming 24, 60, and 120 g of pure alcohol daily demonstrated RRs for incident CAP of 1·12 (95% CI 1·02-1·23), 1·33 (95% CI 1·06-1·67) and 1·76 (95% CI 1·13-2·77), respectively, relative to non-drinkers. Clinically defined alcohol-use disorders were associated with an eightfold increased risk of CAP (RR 8·22, 95% CI 4·85-13·95). In conclusion, alcohol was found to be a risk factor for pneumonia with a clear statistical association, and a monotonic dose-response relationship.

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