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Ann Rheum Dis 59:75-76 doi:10.1136/ard.59.1.75
  • Concise report

Reduced incidence of alcohol related deaths in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis

Abstract

OBJECTIVES It has previously been shown that people with ankylosing spondylitis have an increased incidence of alcohol related deaths from accidents and violence. This study investigated alcohol related deaths in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

METHODS The study covered the subjects, 1666 in number, who had died in 1989 and had been entitled under the nationwide sickness insurance scheme to receive specially reimbursed medication for RA.

RESULTS There were eight alcohol related deaths among the 480 men and three deaths among the 1186 women with RA. The standardised mortality ratios and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) were 0.40 (95% CI 0.20, 0.80) and 0.40 (95% CI 0.13, 1.26), respectively.

CONCLUSION Alcohol either protects from RA or, subjects with RA curtail their drinking after the manifestation of RA.

Footnotes