Background Alcohol consumption has been suggested to be associated with the development of allergic rhinitis (AR), but there is limited data on the topic.
Objectives The objective of this study was to investigate the association between alcohol consumption and the risk of developing AR among young women.
Methods Five thousand eight hundred and seventy Danish women aged 20–29 years participated in a prospective cohort study, and were free of seasonal and perennial AR at baseline (1991–1993). Alcohol consumption was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire. The main outcome measures were self-reported information on seasonal and perennial AR debuting during a mean follow-up period of 7.8 years.
Results During follow-up, 831 women developed seasonal AR and 523 women developed perennial AR, corresponding to 14% and 9%. Alcohol consumption was positively associated with the risk of developing perennial AR. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for perennial AR was 1.78 (95% CI, 1.13–2.80) among women drinking more than 14 drinks/week compared with women drinking <1 drink/week. There was no association between alcohol consumption and seasonal AR. Having one or two parents with asthma was, after adjustment, significantly associated with the risk of developing seasonal (OR, 2.01; 95% CI, 1.65–2.45) and perennial AR (OR, 2.28; 95% CI, 1.70–2.74). Smoking was not associated with an increased risk of developing AR.
Conclusion In this population of young adult women, alcohol consumption was associated with an increased risk of developing perennial AR.