Alcohol can cut the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis in half, according to new research. A study by Scandinavian scientists looked at 2,750 people. Of those, 1,650 had arthritis. When they were compared to people with similar age, sex and lifestyle, those who drink alcohol were less likely to have the joint condition.
And the more a person drank, the lower the risk, researchers said in a news release. The quarter of people who drank the most were half as likely to have arthritis as the half who drank the least.
The authors said the research reinforces the importance of lifestyle factors in the development of the disease, and that giving up smoking remains the single most important preventive measure.
They pointed to recent experimental research by other authors, which showed that alcohol protected against the development and severity of rheumatoid arthritis, although it is not clear exactly how it does this, and who cares!