Arthritis Care & Research

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Edited by: Marian T. Hannan, DSc, MPH
Print ISSN: 2151-464X Online ISSN: 2151-4658
Published on behalf of American College of Rheumatology

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Medicine & Healthcare

July 20, 2015

Alcohol Consumption Linked to Lower Disability in Patients with Chronic Pain

In a study of 2239 individuals with chronic widespread pain, the key feature of fibromyalgia, those who regularly consumed alcohol had lower levels of disability than those who never or rarely drank. 

Those who drank 21 to 35 units of alcohol per week were 67% less likely than never drinkers to experience disability. (One unit of alcohol is a half pint of average strength beer/lager, one small glass of wine, or one single measure of spirits.)

“Although we cannot say that alcohol consumption causes less disability among people with chronic widespread pain, the observed link warrants further investigation,” said Dr. Gary Macfarlane, co-author of the Arthritis Care & Research study.