In that previous studies have revealed the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of alcohol, Anthony G. Wilson, from the University of Sheffield (United Kingdom), and colleagues studied the association between frequency of alcohol consumption and the risk and severity of rheumatoid arthritis. The team assessed 873 men and women with rheumatoid arthritis (and compared them with 1004 people without rheumatoid arthritis, serving as controls).
The study participants completed a detailed questionnaire, had x-rays and blood tests, and an experienced research nurse examined their joints. The researchers found that those subjects who drank modest amounts of alcohol most frequently experienced less severe symptoms, as compared to those who drank infrequently or not at all.
This finding was confirmed by X-rays that showed there was less damage to joints, blood tests showed lower levels of inflammation, and physical examination suggesting less joint pain, swelling and disability. Further, the team discovered that non-drinkers were four times more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, as compared to people who drank alcohol on more than ten days a month, with the risk of developing the disease decreasing according to the frequency of alcohol consumption.
Reporting that their findings applied regardless of gender and in both the anti cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) positive and negative forms of rheumatoid arthritis, the researchers conclude that: “Our data suggest that alcohol consumption has an inverse and dose-related association with both risk and severity of [rheumatoid arthritis].”
Source Link: World Health