Alcohol consumption is associated with lower self-reported disease activity and better health-related quality of life in female rheumatoid arthritis patients in Sweden: data from BARFOT, a multicenter study on early RA

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Abstract

Background: Earlier studies have found a positive effect of alcohol consumption, with a reduced disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The aim of this study was to assess alcohol consumption and its association with disease activity and health related quality of life (HRQL) in Swedish RA patients. Methods: Between 1992 and 2005, 2,800 adult patients were included in the BARFOT study of early RA in Sweden. In 2010 a self-completion postal questionnaire was sent to all 2,102 prevalent patients in the BARFOT study enquiring about disease severity, HRQL, and lifestyle factors. Alcohol consumption was assessed using the validated AUDIT-C questionnaire. Results: A total of 1,238 out of 1,460 patients answering the questionnaire had data on alcohol consumption: 11% were non-drinkers, 67% had a non-hazardous drinking, and 21% were classified as hazardous drinkers. Women who drank alcohol reported lower disease activity and better HRQL, but there were no association between alcohol consumption and disease activity in men. For current smokers, alcohol use was only associated with fewer patient-reported swollen joints. The outcome was not affected by kind of alcohol consumed. Conclusions: There was an association between alcohol consumption and both lower self-reported disease activity and higher HRQL in female, but not in male, RA patients.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Orthopedics

Keywords

  • Rheumatoid arthritis, Alcohol, EULAR response criteria, Health-related, quality of life
Original languageEnglish
Article number218
JournalBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Volume14
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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