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Red Wine Fatigue

Alexander C. Chester, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1994;154(10):1163. doi:10.1001/archinte.1994.00420100150020.
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A recent suggestion that red wine may reduce the risk of coronary artery disease1 has prompted many to change their drinking habits. The hopes for benefits do not, however, come without risks. I have noted an increasing number of individuals who present with complaints of facial pressure and unexplained fatigue that resolve with the elimination of red wine.

Of 297 consecutive patients, questioned prospectively, from my practice of general internal medicine, 28% (study group) noted fatigue and facial pressure the day after drinking red wine in moderation. The duration of symptoms was variable, but a number experienced persistent daily fatigue with the moderate use of red wine that entirely resolved with abstention from this form of alcohol.

When the study group was compared with the remainder of the population (control), they were more likely to have a history of sinusitis (38% vs 17%; P<.001), pollen allergy (59% vs


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