Alcohol and Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk: Are they Associated?

Are drinking alcohol and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) risk linked? RA is a very serious, painful, and disfiguring disease. And it’s incurable. Millions of people around the world are crippled by RA.

RA is an inflammatory disease. And it’s autoimmune condition. The reasons are not known. Instead of attacking an infection, the immune system attacks the victim’s body.

Three things greatly increase the risk of RA. Age heads the risk. Women are at least twice the risk. Also a family history of RA. Could drinking alcohol also increase the risk? If so, it’s a risk we can control.

I. Study

alcohol and rheumatoid arthritisA study looked at drinking alcohol and RA risk. To do so, researchers followed 98,995 women at the start of the study. They also looked at possible links between coffee, tea, and soft drinks.

The follow-up period was 21 years. During that time, the remaining women developed 481 cases of RA. Drinking alcohol did not increase the risk of RA.

But drinking liquor (distilled spirits) in moderation was linked with a decreased risk of RA in ever-smokers. And moderate wine was linked with a decreased risk of a form of RA.

alcohol and rheumatoid arthritisDrinking tea and sugar-sweetened soft drinks did not increase RA risk

However, drinking coffee or artificially-sweetened soft drinks were linked with higher RA risk among never-smokers.


The study findings about alcohol and RA is consistent with dozens of others. Alcohol is not linked to RA.

II. Resources: Alcohol and Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk

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