ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
Body Fat, Muscle Distribution Linked to RA Disability
In Elderly Women, Hip Fractures Often Follow Arm Breaks
CANCER
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
Vitamin D May Improve Melanoma Survival
U.S. Reported 25,000 Cases of HPV-Related Cancers Annually
CAREGIVING
Study of Everest Climbers Questions Oxygen Use
More Than 60,000 Patients Risked Hepatitis Infections
UV Lights, Fans May Curb TB Spread in Hospitals
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
DIABETES
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Weight Loss Might Not Curb Knee Arthritis
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Disinfectants Can Boost Bacteria's Resistance to Treatment
Prenatal Exposure to Traffic Pollution May Lead to Asthma
Home Renovations by Affluent Families Can Unleash Lead Threat
EYE CARE, VISION
Contact Lens Cases Often Contaminated
Clues Found to Brain Mechanism Behind Migraines
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
FITNESS
Higher Fitness Levels Tied to Lower Heart, Death Risks
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Any Exercise Good After a Heart Attack
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
What you need to know about swine flu.
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
MENTAL HEALTH
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
Drink Away Dementia?
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
SENIORS
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Add your Article

Drinking Cuts Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- People who drink alcohol regularly may cut their risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, a new study finds.

Alcohol has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and now this new study shows drinking may also reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis by up to 50 percent. This finding underscores the importance of lifestyle factors in the development of rheumatoid arthritis, the study authors said.

"Moderate alcohol consumption is not deleterious and may in some contexts be beneficial concerning risk for future onset of rheumatoid arthritis," said lead researcher Henrik Kallberg, of the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

"In addition, our paper underlines that smoking may trigger development of rheumatoid arthritis," Kallberg added.

The report was published in the June 4 online edition of the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

For the research, Kallberg's team collected data on 2,750 men and women who took part in two studies of rheumatoid arthritis. Among these people, 1,650 had rheumatoid arthritis.

All the people in the study were asked about their lifestyles, including how much they smoked and drank. In addition, their blood was analyzed to check for genetic risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis.

The researchers found that both men and women who drank regularly were less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, those who drank the most cut their risk for developing the disease by 50 percent, compared with those who drank the least.

"Drinking more than three drinks per week is associated with a 50 percent decrease for developing rheumatoid arthritis," Kallberg said.

Moreover, in people with antibodies to a group of proteins involved in the development of rheumatoid arthritis, drinking alcohol also cut the risk of developing the disease. And in most smokers who had genetic risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis, drinking also reduced the risk of the disease. Smoking is a major risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis, and that risk is increased for those with a genetic susceptibility to disease, the researchers noted.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system uses its own antibodies to attack joints, causing pain and swelling and loss of function in joints. The causes of the disease aren't known, but researchers suspect there is a strong genetic component as well as lifestyle risks.

Dr. John Hardin, the chief science officer for the Arthritis Foundation, said he wasn't surprised by the finding that alcohol could help prevent rheumatoid arthritis.

"This study brings attention to the fact that there are environmental factors that trigger rheumatoid arthritis," he said.

There are a variety of environmental factors that can either promote the disease or help prevent it, Hardin said. "What this means to me is that things that cause an inflammatory state in the body are a hazard requiring rheumatoid arthritis," he said.

"We know that smoking is one of the things associated with a systemic inflammatory response," Hardin said. "We also know that alcohol is a mild anti-inflammatory."

Hardin was cautious, however, about recommending drinking to stave off rheumatoid arthritis. "This study should not be construed as a license to go drink, because there are serious hazards associated with excess alcohol intake," he said.

More information

To learn more about rheumatoid arthritis, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.



SOURCES: Henrik Kallberg, MSc, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; John Hardin, M.D., chief science officer, Arthritis Foundation, Atlanta; June 4, 2008, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, online

Last Updated: June 05, 2008

Copyright 2008 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

More articles at www.eholistic.com