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All-year snuffles linked to alcohol

Women who complain of a constantly runny nose may be interested to find that the condition has been linked to the amount of alcohol a person consumes.

Allergic rhinitis (AR) is an upper respiratory disorder affecting between 10% and 40% of the population worldwide. Over the last few decades, cases of AR have increased in westernised countries.

Previous studies have proposed that how much a person drinks may be a factor contributing to the rise in AR as alcohol is a well-known trigger of hypersensitivity reactions and there is evidence that it influences the immune system.

The Danish study, published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Allergy, found that the risk increased 3% for every additional alcoholic drink per week. In contrast, the authors did not observe any increase in risk of seasonal allergic rhinitis (hayfever) according to alcohol intake.

The research looked at 5,870 women aged 20-29 years who were did not suffer from hayfever and perennial allergic rhinitis at the start of the study. After seven to nine years, the women were contacted again and 831 women had developed hayfever, while 523 had women developed perennial AR.

The authors observed a general tendency that the more alcohol the women reported they drank, the higher their risk of developing perennial allergic rhinitis.

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Clinical and Experimental Allergy