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He says a study that more directly measures alcohol consumption and follows patients over time could help clarify the role of alcohol, if any, in reducing pain and other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
The researchers found that non drinkers were roughly four times as likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis as people who drank alcohol more than 10 days a month. This was true for both men and women.
RA Risk 4 Times Greater in Non DrinkersIn the study, which was published online in the journal Rheumatology, 873 people with rheumatoid arthritis and 1,004 people without the disease were asked to recall their alcohol consumption during the previous month.
Alcohol Helps Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
Hadler says he discusses these risks with his patients and urges them to limit their alcohol consumption if they choose to drink.
Nortin M. Hadler, MD, MACP, professor of medicine and microbiology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC; spokesman, American College of Rheumatology.
Participants were also given X rays and blood tests to measure inflammation and other markers of joint damage and disease progression.
James R. Maxwell, MD, senior lecturer, University of Sheffield; department of rheumatology, Rotherham Hospital, Rotherham, England.
Earlier research has shown that compared to teetotalers, alcohol drinkers are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, a progressive and often disabling inflammatory disease that attacks the joints.
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a month also had fewer and less severe symptoms Gucci Belt Authentic
"This finding hasn't been shown before, but I would urge caution," he says. "More study is definitely needed."
But the study is the first to suggest drinking alcohol can lessen the severity of symptoms in people who already have the disease.
Maxwell says alcohol may lessen the severity of arthritis symptoms by Gucci Belt With Snake reducing inflammation or by acting as an analgesic.
than non drinkers or people who drank less frequently. They also showed less damage to joints on X rays, and blood tests showed lower levels of inflammation.
Arthritis Expert UnconvincedBut an arthritis specialist who spoke to WebMD remains unconvinced, calling the study "very weak science."
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acknowledges more study is needed to confirm the association, Maxwell says the evidence is mounting that moderate alcohol consumption reduces both the risk and severity of rheumatoid arthritis.
Many patients with rheumatoid arthritis, especially those who take the drug methotrexate, are advised not to drink alcohol because methotrexate and alcohol can be toxic to the liver.
Patients who drank alcohol more than 10 times Gucci Belt New Collection
"But before anyone leaps to the bottle, realize that in many resource advantaged countries this 'moderate' level of imbibition is associated with higher socioeconomic status, which itself bodes well for mortality and for rheumatoid arthritis prognosis," he writes in an email.
One limitation of the study, however, was that the researchers did not know how much alcohol people actually drank when they imbibed. In addition, the patients in the study tended to be older than the non patients, which could affect the results.
Rheumatologist Nortin M. Hadler, MD, who is a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, says many previous studies have linked moderate alcohol consumption with longer life and better health.
"Generally speaking, it appears that drinking alcohol in moderation may benefit patients with rheumatoid arthritis."
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