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The news I’m finding interesting today is that about alcohol and arthritis – but before you go jumping the gun and get all riskfactorphobic about the dangers of the demon drink, the research suggests that boozing may actually reduce your risk of developing the dodgy joints disease, at least several forms of it including rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and spondylarthropathy (no, I’ve never heard of that one either). Well, that’s what it suggests at first glance, anyhow.

Dutch scientists reported their findings at the annual meeting of the European League Against Rheumatism in Rome last week. What they did was they quizzed almost 8,000 volunteers, almost a thousand of whom were arthritis sufferers. What they found was that all the arthritis sufferers claimed to drink less than the arthritis-free volunteers, and by the magic of mathematics they extrapolated that those who did drink were between 62 and 73 percent less likely to develop one of the included forms of arthritis. Hurrah.

So drink up, it could be good for you. Oh hang on. What the researchers admitted, however – and it makes perfect sense when  you think about it – is that the findings could be skewed (my word, not theirs) by the fact that the arthritis sufferers may be less likely to drink because of their condition (some arthritis drugs – for rheumatoid arthritis, for instance – do not mix well with alcohol). Doh. Bang goes another study’s believability then. You’d think they would bear such things in mind when they devise their questionnaires, wouldn’t you?

And that brings me to my next piece of news. Give these people a medal: Norweigan researchers studied loads of drunk, young people and have come up with the conclusion that too much alcohol increases the risk for violent behaviour. My, my. They didn’t have to do a study to find that out, did they? A trip to any UK town centre on a Friday or Saturday night would have provided them with all the research material they needed. But wait, there’s more. You’re only likely to be a violent drunk if you’re the type of person who suppresses your anger when you’re sober. Goodness. There’s a lot of suppression of anger going on then, isn’t there?

The study – published in Addiction journal – produced stats too, to highlight the degree of violent tendency increase compared with the amount of alcohol drunk: so among the people who claimed they were highly likely to suppress their anger, a 10 percent increase in drinking to the point of intoxication was linked with a five percent increase in violence. Isn’t science marvellous?

Of course, the people who had no problem expressing their anger when sober were found to not get violent when they were drunk. Hmm. Oh well, at least their joints will be healthy.