Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Public Health and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Frequent alcohol drinking is associated with lower prevalence of self-reported common cold: a retrospective study

Eriko Ouchi1, Kaijun Niu23, Yoritoshi Kobayashi1, Lei Guan1, Haruki Momma2, Hui Guo2, Masahiko Chujo1, Atsushi Otomo1, Yufei Cui1 and Ryoichi Nagatomi12*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, 980-8575, Japan

2 Division of Biomedical Engineering for Health & Welfare, Tohoku University Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, Sendai, 980-8575, Japan

3 Lab of Nutritional Epidemiology, Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, 300070, People’s Republic of China

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

BMC Public Health 2012, 12:987  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-987

Published: 16 November 2012

Abstract

Background

Alcohol intake has been associated with reduced incidence of common cold symptoms in 2 European studies. However, no study has addressed the association between the frequency of alcohol intake and the incidence of common cold. This study aimed to investigate the association between the amount and frequency of alcohol drinking and the retrospective prevalence of common cold in Japanese men.

Methods

This retrospective study included men who participated in an annual health examination conducted in Sendai, Japan. The frequency of common cold episodes in the previous year was self-reported. The weekly frequency and amount of alcohol consumed, as well as the type of alcoholic drink, were reported by a brief-type self-administered diet history questionnaire. Logistic regression models were used to analyze the association between the amount and frequency of alcohol intake and the retrospective prevalence of common cold.

Results

Among 899 men, 83.4% of the subjects reported drinking alcohol, and 55.4% of the subjects reported having experienced at least one episode of common cold in the previous year. Compared with non-drinkers, the adjusted odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for having had 1 or more episodes of common cold during the past year across categories of alcohol intake frequency of 3 or less, 4–6, and 7 days/week were 0.827 (0.541–1.266), 0.703 (0.439–1.124), and 0.621 (0.400–0.965), respectively (P for trend = 0.025); the adjusted ORs with 95% CIs for having had of 2 or more episodes of common cold across the same categories were 0.642 (0.395–1.045), 0.557 (0.319–0.973), and 0.461 (0.270–0.787), respectively (P for trend = 0.006). Compared with subjects who consumed 11.5–35.8 g of alcohol per day, the non-drinkers were significantly more likely to experience 2 or more episodes of common cold (OR, 1.843; 95% CI, 1.115–3.047).

Conclusion

The frequency, not the amount, of alcohol intake was significantly related to lower prevalence of self-reported common cold episodes in Japanese men.

Keywords:
Alcohol; Drinking; Dietary history; Common cold