Effects of alcohol consumption and smoking on risk for RA: results from a Swedish prospective cohort study

OBJECTIVE: Several, but not all studies, have shown a dose-dependent inverse association with alcohol consumption and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), whereas smoking is an established risk factor for RA. We aimed to study the association between alcohol consumption and RA incidence and investigate a potential interaction between alcohol and smoking habits, regarding RA incidence.

METHODS: We used a prospective cohort study, based on 41 068 participants with detailed assessment of alcohol intake, smoking and potential confounders at baseline in 1997. We ascertained a total of 577 incident cases of RA during a mean of 17.7 years of follow-up through linkage to nationwide and essentially complete databases. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate HR with 95% CI. Interaction on the additive scale between alcohol and smoking was estimated by calculating the attributable proportion due to interaction (AP).

RESULTS: Overall, alcohol consumption was associated with a 30% reduced incidence of RA (HR 0.69, 95% CI 0.55 to 0.86) with a dose-response relationship (p value for trend <0.001) which remained significant after stratification by age and smoking habits. The positive association between smoking and RA incidence was reduced with increasing alcohol consumption (p value for trend <0.001). A synergistic effect was observed between alcohol and smoking (AP 0.40, 95% CI 0.15 to 0.64), indicating that 40% of the cases among the double exposed are due to the interaction per se.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest an inverse association between alcohol consumption and RA incidence, and a synergistic effect between alcohol and smoking.

Additional Info

  • Authors:

    Hedenstierna, L.;Bellocco, R.;Ye, W.;Adami, H. O.;Akerstedt, T.;Trolle Lagerros, Y.;Hedstrom, A. K.

  • Issue: RMD Open . 2021 Jan;7(1):e001379. doi: 10.1136/rmdopen-2020-001379.
  • Published Date: 2021 Jan
  • More Information:

    For more information about this abstract, please contact
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at the Deutsche Weinakademie GmbH

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