Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with increased radiological progression in women, but not in men, with early rheumatoid arthritis: results from the ESPOIR cohort (Étude et Suivi des Polyarthrites Indifférenciées Récentes)
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Objective: We conducted this study to determine whether alcohol consumption influences radiological progression in early rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Method: Patients fulfilling the European League Against Rheumatism/American College of Rheumatology 2010 criteria in the early arthritis cohort ESPOIR (Étude et Suivi des Polyarthrites Indifférenciées Récentes) were included in this study. Alcohol consumption was collected at baseline and at each visit. We classified alcohol consumption into three groups: abstinent (0 g/day), moderate (≤ 20 g/day for women, ≤ 30 g/day for men), and abuse (> 20 g/day for women, > 30 g/day for men). The primary outcome was the occurrence of radiological progression, defined as an increase ≥ 5 points in the total Sharp/van der Heijde score. We investigated whether alcohol consumption is predictive of radiological progression at 1, 3, and 5 years by univariate and multivariate analysis adjusted for age, baseline erosion, rheumatoid factor, anti-citrullinated peptide antibody, smoking status, body mass index, and treatment with leflunomide or methotrexate and biologics.
Results: The study included 596 patients. When considering the influence of gender on the interaction between alcohol consumption and radiological progression, we showed a deleterious effect of moderate consumption in women [odds ratio (OR) = 1.73, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01; 2.96, p = 0.045] and a trend towards a protective effect of moderate consumption in men (OR = 0.50, 95% CI 0.21; 1.16, p = 0.106) in multivariate analysis.
Conclusion: Our data suggest a deleterious effect of moderate consumption of alcohol on radiological progression in women, but not in men, with early RA.