For women with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA), moderate alcohol consumption is associated with increased radiological progression, according to results published in the Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology. This effect did not apply to male patients with early RA.
The study included participants who fulfilled with European League Against Rheumatism/American College of Rheumatology 2010 criteria in the early arthritis cohort Étude et Suivi des Polyarthrites Indifférenciées Récentes (n=596). The researchers collected data on alcohol consumption at baseline and at each visit. They classified alcohol consumption into 3 groups: abstinent (0 g/day), moderate (≤20 g/day for women, ≤30 g/day for men), and abuse (>20 g/day for women, >30 g/day for men). The primary outcome was the occurrence of radiological progression, defined as a ≥5-point increase in the total Sharp/van der Heijde score.
When the researchers looked at the influence of sex on the interaction between alcohol consumption and radiological progression, they found that moderate consumption in women had a negative effect (odds ratio [OR], 1.73; 95% CI, 1.01-2.96; P =.045). For men, they found that moderate consumption trended toward a protective effect (OR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.21-1.16; P =.106).
“Further research is required to better understand the impact of alcohol consumption on RA in terms of the type of alcohol, drinking pattern, volume, drug interactions, and the ethnicity of the population, while taking into account the morbidity and mortality of this consumption,” the researchers wrote.
Sageloli F, Quesada JL, Fautrel B, et al. Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with increased radiological progression in women, but not in men, with early rheumatoid arthritis: results from the ESPOIR cohort (Étude et Suivi des Polyarthrites Indifférenciées Récentes) [published online May 18, 2018]. Scand J Rheumatol. doi: 10.1080/03009742.2018.1437216