Is Coffee Bad for Arthritis?

Ask a Doctor

My grandpa drinks, like, five cups of coffee a day. He knows it’s bad for his heart and blood pressure, but he does it anyway, even though we try to get him to stop with the caffeine. Recently, his rheumatoid arthritis has begun to flare up fiercely, so he can’t really walk or do much. Could these periods of pain be linked to his coffee consumption? Is coffee bad for rheumatoid arthritis?

Doctor’s Response

A 2000 study in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found coffee drinkers may be at increased risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis. People who drank four or more cups of coffee daily were two times more likely to develop arthritis than those who drank less.

However, coffee may not be bad for all types of arthritis. A 2005 study by the Mayo Clinic showed coffee was safe to drink for patients with psoriatic arthritis.

The Arthritis Foundation suggests moderation is key, and to watch caffeine intake. Talk to your doctor about whether you can drink coffee if you have arthritis.

For more information, read our full medical article on rheumatoid arthritis.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Arthritis Connect. Caffeine Benefits Psoriatic Arthritis. 2 January 2019 .

Arthritis Foundation. Best Beverages for Arthritis. 2 January 2019 .

Heliövaara, M, et al. Coffee consumption, rheumatoid factor, and the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. 1 August 2000. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 2 January 2019 .