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Have Rheumatoid Arthritis? Drink Some Wine

A study published in the journal Rheumatology finds that drinking alcohol may reduce the severity of rheumatoid arthritis and reduce the risk of developing the disease.

A study published in the journal Rheumatology finds that drinking alcohol may reduce the severity of rheumatoid arthritis and reduce the risk of developing the disease.

Researchers evaluated 873 patients with RA, comparing them with 1004 people without RA, and questioned the two groups on their alcohol consumption habits. The participants completed a questionnaire, had x-rays and blood tests taken, and their joints examined.

“We found that patients who had drunk alcohol most frequently had symptoms that were less severe than those who had never drunk alcohol or only drunk it infrequently,” said Dr. James Maxwell, a consultant rheumatologist at the Rotherham Foundation NHS Trust and an honorary senior clinical lecturer in the Academic Rheumatology Group at the University of Sheffield, in a press release. “X-rays showed there was less damage to joints, blood tests showed lower levels of inflammation, and there was less joint pain, swelling and disability. This is the first time that a dose dependent inverse association between frequency of alcohol consumption and severity of RA has been shown in humans.”

The researchers also found that the risk of developing RA decreased in accordance with the frequency of alcohol consumption.