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Can Alcohol Consumption Predict Progression of Spinal Damage in AxSpA?

Alcohol consumption can predict progression of spinal structural damage in axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA), according to findings from a new study presented at the 2019 American College of Rheumatology (ACR)/Association of Rheumatology Professionals (ARP) Annual Meeting. The findings suggest education on alcohol consumption could aid in attenuating spinal structural damage in axSpA.

To reach their conclusions, the researchers evaluated baseline data and two-year follow-up radiographic data of 278 patients who were enrolled in a prospective cohort at a single tertiary hospital.

Baseline and follow-up characteristics were compared between 2 groups—drinker group and nondrinker group. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to affirm predictors of spinal structural damage.

Change in modified Stoke Ankylosing Spondylitis Spinal Score (mSASSS) and syndesmophyte count over the 2-year period were higher among the patients in the drinker group than the patients in the nondrinker group.

Patients in the drinker group showed more frequent significant mSASSS changes and new syndesmophyte/progression of preexisting syndesmophyte than the nondrinker group.

Univariable and multivariable regression analyses indicated a significant relationship between drinking alcohol and the progression of spinal structural damage for both mSASSS and syndesmophyte progression.

“The present study showed that alcohol consumption could predict progression of spinal structural damage in axSpA,” the researchers concluded. “This is meaningful because drinking alcohol is a modifiable behavior and education on alcohol consumption could aid in attenuating spinal structural damage in axSpA.” —Melinda Stevens

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