Latest scientific news 04 December 2013

Can low to moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages decrease the risk for rheumatoid arthritis?

The findings of a meta analysis indicate that that the moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages can be a preventive factor in the development of rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritisRheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammatory arthritis leading to ... (RA) is an autoimmune disease which is characterized by chronic destructive debilitating arthritis and affects approximately 1% of the adult population. It is thought to be the result from the interaction between environmental and genetic factors. Alcohol consumption is believed to play a role as preventive factor but findings of its effect on the development on RA have been inconsistent. Chinese researchers carried out a meta-analysis to examine the association of moderate intake of alcoholic beverages and the risk of RA. The results show that regardless of sex, a consistent low to moderate alcohol consumption for a period of at least 10 years was found to reduce the RA risk by  17%. A possible explanation for the observed reduced risk of RA with low to moderate intake of alcoholic beverages is a reduced immune response and a decreased production of pro-inflammatory cytochines.

 Jin Z et al, Alcohol consumption as a preventive factor for developing rheumatoid arthritis: a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies, Ann Rheum Dis 2013, doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-203323.