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.
Study: Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with lower risk (and severity) of chronic widespread pain: Results from a UK population-based study, Gary J Macfarlane PhD MD(Hons) and Marcus Beasley BSc MSc, Arthritis Care & Research, doi: 10.1002/acr.22604, published online 20 July 2015.