The study, which involved a survey of over 30,000 Swedish women born between 1914 and 1948, has revealed a link between alcohol consumption and fewer cases of rheumatoid arthritis.
The women were interviewed about their lifestyle twice at ten year intervals, with a detailed follow-up survey later.
Alicja Wilk, professor at the Karolinska Institute and researcher in the study, points out that the results do not mean that simply drinking more alcohol results in a better chance of avoiding the chronic disorder.
“Our study absolutely does not show that more is better. Somewhere between four and five alcoholic drinks a week is optimal and where the reduced risk is the strongest,” she told Sveriges Radio (SR).
Wilk explained that the type of alcohol is unimportant, according to the study, but that one glass is equivalent to 150 millilitres of wine, 500 millitres of beer, or 5 millilitres of spirits.
However, Wolk was also keen to point out that excessive drinking can lead to breast cancer.
“It’s known that alcohol is related to a higher risk of breast cancer for women. You can’t forget that connection. And there are recommendations when it comes to cancer prevention and so it’s said that for women, it should be a maximum of one glass a day,” she told SR.
In Sweden, between 0.5 and 1 percent of the population suffers from the joint disorder, with twice as many female sufferers as men, according to SR.
While the illness can affect people of any age, the typically diagnosis age is around 55.