Alcohol consumption is linked with increased risk of perennial allergic rhinitis, according to experts at the National Institute of Public Health in Denmark.
They have come to this conclusion after conducting a study of 5,870 young adult women, published in the July issue of Clinical and Experimental Allergy.
Dr. Janne Tolstrup, lead author of the study, says that the risk increased three per cent for every additional alcoholic drink per week.
There was no increase in risk of seasonal allergic rhinitis according to alcohol intake, she adds.
She has revealed that the 5,870 women studied by the research team were aged 20-29 years, and free of seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis at the start of the study.
The researchers asked the subjects about different lifestyle habits, including their general alcohol intake, measured in drinks per week.
When the women were contacted again seven to nine years later, 831 women had developed seasonal AR, and 523 perennial AR, 14 per cent and 9 per cent respectively.
The researchers observed that the more alcohol the women reported they drank, the higher their risk of developing perennial allergic rhinitis.
Women who reported drinking more than 14 drinks a week were 78 per cent more likely to develop perennial allergic rhinitis than those who had reported drinking less than one drink a week.
"Our study was carried out on female participants only, and it should be recognised that there is evidence to suggest that women may be more susceptible to some of the genetically harmful effects of alcohol than men, perhaps due to differences in fat to water ratio or liver mass to body weight ratio. Because of this it would be interesting to examine gender differences in the possible effects of alcohol on the development of rhinitis," said Tolstrup.
"Another interesting finding of this study was that smokers were found to have a decreased risk of seasonal AR, with no change to the risk of perennial AR. We also found that if one or both parents had asthma, the participant was more likely to have perennial AR and this was exacerbated in women who drank over 14 drinks a week," she added.