The effects of alcohol consumption on disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis were assessed on a study published in Scientific Reports.
EMBASE, Pubmed, the Cochrane Library, and Web of Science were searched until July 29, 2020. English language studies that reported disease activity outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis were included. Studies were excluded if they were reviews, case reports, had fewer than 20 patients, or reported on prevalence but not disease activity in RA. Correlations between alcohol and antibody status, gender, and smoking status were identified.
The pooled mean difference in DAS28 (a measure of disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis) was 0.34 (0.24, 0.44) between drinkers and non-drinkers with lower DAS28 in non-drinkers, 0.33 (0.05, 0.62) between heavy drinkers and non-drinkers with lower DAS28 in heavy drinkers, and 0.00 (- 0.30, 0.30) (p = 0.98) between low- and high-risk drinkers. The mean difference of HAQ assessments was significantly different between those who drink alcohol compared to those who do not, with drinkers reporting lower HAQ (Health Assessment Questionnaire for Rheumatoid Arthritis) scores (0.3 (0.18, 0.41), p < 10-5). There was no significant correlation between drinking and gender, smoking status, or antibody positivity.
The authors conclude that alcohol consumption is associated with lower disease activity and self-reported health assessment in rheumatoid arthritis. However, drinking has no correlation with smoking, gender, or antibody status.
Source: Turk, J.N., Zahavi, E.R., Gorman, A.E. et al. Exploring the effect of alcohol on disease activity and outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis through systematic review and meta-analysis. Sci Rep 11, 10474 (2021).