Drinking alcohol can not only ease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis it appears to reduce disease severity too, 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. Patients completed a detailed questionnaire, had X-rays and blood tests, and a nurse examined their joints.