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Highly physically active women at low risk of rheumatoid arthritis

11 Aug 2019

High physical activity levels reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in women, a study has found.

The study involved 113,366 participants from the Nurses' Health Study II, among whom 506 developed RA (67.0 percent had seropositive RA) over 2,428,573 person‐years of follow‐up. Every participant completed biennial questionnaires to determine physical activity exposures and covariates.

Researchers evaluated the long‐term cumulative average number of hours spent in recreational physical activity 2–8 years prior to the RA diagnosis. This time span was chosen to reduce the potential for reverse causation bias, given that early RA affects physical activity prior to diagnosis.

Multivariable Cox regression analysis revealed that increasing cumulative average total hours of recreational physical activity had a protective association with the risk of RA. Relative to women engaging in <1 hour of physical activity per week, those who were more physically active had up to about a 30-percent lower risk of developing RA (2 to <4 hours/week: hazard ratio [HR], 0.92, 95 percent CI, 0.72–1.17; 4 to <7 hours/week: HR, 0.84, 0.63–1.12; ≥7 hours/week: HR, 0.67, 0.47–0.98; p-trend=0.02).

Body mass index mediated some of the effect of physical activity on all RA (14.0 percent; p=0.002) and on seropositive RA (20.0 percent; p=0.001), suggesting that both physical activity and weight-loss interventions could delay or even prevent the onset of seropositive RA, according to the researchers.

The present data contribute to the increasing evidence that metabolic factors play an important role in RA pathogenesis, they added.

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Most Read Articles
13 Sep 2020
Regardless of birth weight, being obese at preschool age is associated with a greater risk of elevated blood pressure during early childhood, a recent China study has found. A longer duration of breastfeeding appears to help mitigate such a risk.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 4 days ago
In patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) receiving angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, high dosing confers benefits for the risk of death or hospitalization that are similar to that obtained with lower dosing, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis.
06 Sep 2020
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6 days ago
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