Progress of Arthritis Slowed by Moderate Drinking, Study Says

Moderate drinking could slow the progress of rheumatoid arthritis over the course of decades — not enough to make an immediate, noticable impact but perhaps beneficial in the long-term, researchers from Switzerland said in a new report.

Reuters reported March 25 that researcher Axel Finckh of University Hospital of Geneva studied 2,900 nondrinkers and moderate drinkers, using X-rays of patient joint damage during the four-year study. They found that occasional drinkers and individuals who had one drink daily had less progression of arthritic disease than nondrinkers.

The authors said that nondrinkers should not be advised to start using alcohol based on the study; however, moderate drinkers who have arthritis should not be told to stop drinking, either.

The study was published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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