Alcohol-induced respiratory symptoms are common in patients with aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease.

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2014 Mar-Apr;2(2):208-13.

Division of Rheumatology, Immunology, and Allergy, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass; Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass. Electronic address:

Background: A large percentage of patients with aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD) report the development of alcohol-induced respiratory reactions, but the true prevalence of respiratory reactions caused by alcoholic beverages in these patients was not known.

Objective: We sought to evaluate the incidence and characteristics of alcohol-induced respiratory reactions in patients with AERD.

Methods: A questionnaire designed to assess alcohol-induced respiratory symptoms was administered to patients at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Scripps Clinic. At least 50 patients were recruited into each of 4 clinical groups: (1) patients with aspirin challenge-confirmed AERD, (2) patients with aspirin-tolerant asthma (ATA), (3) patients with aspirin tolerance and with chronic rhinosinusitis, and (4) healthy controls. Two-tailed Fisher exact tests with Bonferroni corrections were used to compare the prevalence of respiratory symptoms among AERD and other groups, with P ≤ .017 considered significant.

Results: The prevalence of alcohol-induced upper (rhinorrhea and/or nasal congestion) respiratory reactions in patients with AERD was 75% compared with 33% with aspirin-tolerant asthma, 30% with chronic rhinosinusitis, and 14% with healthy controls (P < .001 for all comparisons). The prevalence of alcohol-induced lower (wheezing and/or dyspnea) respiratory reactions in AERD was 51% compared with 20% in aspirin-tolerant asthma and with 0% in both chronic rhinosinusitis and healthy controls (P < .001 for all comparisons). These reactions were generally not specific to one type of alcohol and often occurred after ingestion of only a few sips of alcohol.

Conclusion: Alcohol ingestion causes respiratory reactions in the majority of patients with AERD, and clinicians should be aware that these alcohol-induced reactions are significantly more common in AERD than in controls who are aspirin tolerant.

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Source
https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S22132198130050
Publisher Site
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2013.12.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4018190PMC
May 2014

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