Drinking Alcohol Reduces Risk of Developing Arthritic Conditions

Alcohol consumption is associated with a significantly reduced risk of developing arthritic conditions including Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Osteoarthritis (OA), reactive arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and spondylarthropathy. This was the finding of a study presented at the 2010 Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) in Rome, Italy.

"We know from previous research that alcohol consumption may confer a protective effect against developing RA, our data have shown that this effect may apply to other arthritic conditions too," said Dr Annekoos Leonoor Huidekoper, Leiden University
Medical Centre, Netherlands and lead author of the study.

Arthritis is an inflammatory disease and the researchers also found that the degree
of systemic inflammation in patients decreased as the consumption of alcohol increased.

Note: This website provides no recommendations for drinking alcohol and rheumatoid arthritis or for any other health or medical matter and none should be inferred.


  • European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR), eular.org.

Readings on Drinking Alcohol and Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Aho, K., and Heliovaara, M. alcohol, androgens and arthritis. Annals of the Rheumatoid Diseases, 1993, 52(12), 897.
  • Cerhan,J.R., et a. Blood transfusion, alcohol use, and anthropometric risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis in older women. Journal of Rheumatology, 2002, 29(2), 246-246.
  • Hazes, J.M., et al. Lifestyle and the risk of rheumatoid arthritis: cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 1990, 49(12), 980-982.
  • Kallberg, H., et al. Alcohol consumption is associated with decreased risk of rheumatoid arthritis: results from two Scandinavian case-control studies. Annals of the Rheumatoid Diseases, 2009, 68(2), 222-228.
  • James R. Maxwell, J.R., et al. Alcohol consumption is inversely associated with risk and severity of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology, July 28, 2010; doi: doi:10.1093/rheumatology/keq202.
  • Myllykangas-Lusojarvi, R., et al. Reduced incidence of alcohol related deaths in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis. Annals of the Rheumatoid Diseases, 2000, 59, 75-76.
  • Turesson, Carl. Increased Alcohol Intake Associated with Decreased Risk of Developing Rheumatoid Arthritis. (Abstract) Paper presented at the annual European Congress of Rheumatology. Barcelona, Spain. June 13-16, 2007. European League Against Rheumatism, June 15, 2007.
  • Voigt, L.F., et al. Smoking, obesity, alcohol consumption, and the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Epidemiology, 1994, 5(5), 525-532.

Filed Under: Alcohol and Health