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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Alcohol consumption and the risk of nosocomial infection in general surgery.

BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption increases community-acquired infections and affects the immune system. The aim of this report was to analyse whether drinking increases the risk of nosocomial infection. METHODS: This was a prospective study of 1505 patients admitted consecutively to a general surgical department. Alcohol consumption was assessed by a structured questionnaire. Postoperative infection was classified using the Centers for Disease Control criteria. Confounding was controlled for by logistic regression analysis, and the results were stratified by gender and drinking pattern. RESULTS: Most women were light drinkers and no increased risk of postoperative infection was noted. In men, drinking was associated with a lower American Society of Anesthesiologists grade and fewer co-morbidities. Heavy alcohol consumption (more than 108 g/day) in men increased the rate of all-site nosocomial infection (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.51, 95 per cent confidence interval (c.i.) 1.06 to 5.96) and the rate of in-hospital surgical-site infection (SSI) (adjusted OR 2.16, 95 per cent c.i. 0.84 to 5.58). An intake of above 72 g/day increased the rate of lower respiratory tract infection (adjusted OR 5.22, 95 per cent c.i. 1.04 to 26.2). Alcohol consumption was not related to the rate of SSI after hospital discharge. When drinking was limited to weekends, there was no relationship with nosocomial infection. CONCLUSION: Heavy alcohol consumption increased the risk of nosocomial infection in men who underwent general surgical procedures.[1]


  1. Alcohol consumption and the risk of nosocomial infection in general surgery. Delgado-Rodríguez, M., Mariscal-Ortiz, M., Gómez-Ortega, A., Martínez-Gallego, G., Palma-Pérez, S., Sillero-Arenas, M., Medina-Cuadros, M. The British journal of surgery. (2003) [Pubmed]
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