Moderate drinking lowers risk of arthritis
Last Updated: Monday, March 29, 2010, 00:00
  

London: Moderate drinkers have a lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis and the disease progresses slower, according to a new study.

Swiss researchers followed 2,900 adults with rheumatoid arthritis and found that light to moderate drinkers showed slower progression in their joint damage compared with non-drinkers but heavy drinkers showed a greater progression of the disease, reports dailymail.co.uk .



The findings, reported in the Arthritis and Rheumatism Journal , are based on x-ray evidence of patients` joint damage and its progression over an average of four years.



Although the difference would not be apparent in day to day life, researcher Axel Finckh said if the slower progression was maintained over decades it could make a significant improvement to people`s health.



The study, carried out at the University Hospital of Geneva, ties in with previous animal research which suggests that alcohol may inhibit arthritis by reducing inflammation.



Finckh said further studies need to be carried out to confirm whether moderate drinking by itself slows the progression rheumatoid arthritis.



Even then patients would not be advised to take up drinking, he stressed.

The relationship between drinking and joint damage progression was stronger among men than women, the study also found.



Finckh said the gender bias was unexpected, but said one possibility behind it could be the overall difference in alcohol `dose` between men and women.



Some 27 per cent of the men in the study said they drank once per day, compared with only 14 per cent of women.



The findings also suggest people with rheumatoid arthritis who already drink moderately should not be encouraged to stop.


IANS


First Published: Monday, March 29, 2010, 00:00



comments powered by Disqus