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Science

ALCOHOL/ARTHRITISBack
[Published: Thursday August 26 2010]

Alcohol can 'reduce severity' of arthritis

Drinking alcohol can ease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and reduce the severity of the disease, research suggests.

Scientists at the University of Sheffield asked two groups of patients with and without the disease to provide details of their drinking habits.

They found that patients who had drunk alcohol most frequently experienced less joint pain and swelling.

Experts say this should not be taken as a green light for drinking more.

In the study, 873 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were compared to 1,004 people who did not have it.

Both groups were asked how often they had drunk alcohol in the month running up to the start of the study.

Dr James Maxwell, consultant rheumatologist and lead author of the study, explained the findings.

"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."

X-rays showed there was less damage to their joints, blood tests showed lower levels of inflammation, and there was less joint pain, swelling and disability in those patients, the researchers found. (ANA)


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