Chronic alcohol drinking can lead to severe pneumonia after surgery

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Consistent alcohol consumption can impair immunity functions following surgery.

  • A new rodent study has found that chronic drinking can result in a severe form of pneumonia following surgery.

  • Study authors recommend that patients considering surgery control their drinking habits, and also be very honest with their doctors about their drinking habits, prior to surgery.

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People who drink alcohol often have immune-function problems following surgery. For example, patients who consume alcohol long-term have a two- to five-fold greater chance of post-operation infection complications. A new rodent study has found that chronic consumption - in this case, the equivalent of prolonged moderate drinking - can result in a more severe form of pneumonia following surgery.

Results are published in the February issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Surgery can be scheduled or the result of an accident, said Claudia Spies, medical associate director of the department of anesthesiology and intensive care medicine at the University Hospital Charit

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