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Original Research

Open Access Special Issue

Alcohol consumption and COVID-19 severity: a propensity score matched study in China

  • Lin Lv1,2,†
  • Yi-Wu Zhou1,2,†
  • Rong Yao1,2

1Department of Emergency Medicine, Emergency Medical Laboratory, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610041 Sichuan, P. R. China

2Disaster Medical Center, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610041 Sichuan, P. R. China

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2021.032 Vol.17,Issue 3,May 2021 pp.112-120

Submitted: 09 December 2020 Accepted: 12 January 2021

Published: 08 May 2021

*Corresponding Author(s): Rong Yao E-mail:

† These authors contributed equally.


Objectives: To explore the relationship between alcohol consumption and COVID-19 severity of illness and hospital death.

Methods: This study included 1,087 COVID-19 patients confirmed by laboratory tests in many hospitals in Sichuan Province and Hubei Province during the COVID-19 epidemic. The patients were divided into a drinking group and a nondrinking group. For better baseline feature comparability between the two groups, we used propensity score matching (PSM) to generate a new cohort with a ratio of 1 : 2 (drinking group, n = 167; nondrinking group, n = 334) to compare the clinical symptoms, complications, complications, ICU admission and in-hospital death between the drinking group and the nondrinking group and to analyze the factors affecting ICU admission and the prognosis of in-hospital mortality of COVID-19 patients.

Results: The incidence of wheezing symptoms in the nondrinking group was higher than that in the drinking group (11.2% vs. 6.6%, P = 0.044) after PSM (12.3% vs. 6.6%, P = 0.032), and there was no difference in the incidence of other symptoms between the two groups. The incidence of stroke was lower in the drinking group than in the nondrinking group (0.0% vs. 2.4%, P = 0.025) after PSM (0.0% vs. 2.7%, P = 0.025). The multivariate analysis showed that drinking was not associated with ICU admission (OR = 1.240, 95% CI 0.322-4.772, P = 0.755) or in-hospital mortality outcomes (OR = 2.582, 95% CI 0.689-9.670, P = 0.159).

Conclusions: Drinking is not associated with patient ICU admission or hospital mortality. However, COVID-19 patients who drink alcohol have fewer wheezing symptoms and fewer stroke complications.


Coronavirus disease 2019; Drinking; ICU admission; Wheezing; Stroke; Hospital mortality

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Lin Lv,Yi-Wu Zhou,Rong Yao. Alcohol consumption and COVID-19 severity: a propensity score matched study in China. Signa Vitae. 2021. 17(3);112-120.


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