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July 24th, 2012

Moderate Alcohol Consumption Linked to Reduced Risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis in Women

Long-term, moderate alcohol consumption is associated with reduced risk for rheumatoid arthritis, according to a prospective cohort study in BMJ.
Some 34,000 Swedish women reported on their alcohol consumption in 1987 and 1997 and then were followed from 2003 through 2009 (when they were roughly 54 to 89 years old). During follow-up, some 200 participants developed RA. After adjustment for smoking status, those who consumed more than three drinks a week in both 1987 and 1997 had about half the risk for RA as those who did not drink.
As a potential mechanism, the authors note that alcohol downregulates immune responses. They point out, however, that they could not make conclusions about heavy alcohol use, as just 1% of the women consumed more than two drinks a day.

Everything In moderation!

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