Moderate Drinkers Are at Lower Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
The goal of this study was to determine the association between risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and alcohol consumption in combination with smoking and the HLA-DRB1 shared epitope (SE). Data from 2 independent case-control studies, the Swedish Epidemiological Investigation of Rheumatoid Arthritis (1204 cases and 871 controls) and the Danish Case-Control Study on Rheumatoid Arthritis (444 cases and 533 controls), were used to estimate odds ratios of developing RA based on the amount of alcohol consumed.
- Alcohol consumption was dose-dependently associated with a reduced risk of RA. Among alcohol consumers, the quarter with the highest consumption (4.9 or more drinks* per week in one study and 12 or more drinks per week in the other) had a decreased risk of RA of 40–50% compared with the half with the lowest consumption.
- For the subset of RA characterized by the presence of antibodies to citrullinated peptide antigens, alcohol consumption reduced the risk most prominently in smokers carrying HLA-DRB1 SE alleles.