Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rheumatoid arthritis incidence on the rise in women

Date:
May 27, 2010
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
The incidence of rheumatoid arthritis in women has risen during the period of 1995 to 2007, according to a newly published study. The study suggests that environmental factors may be the cause of the increase.

The incidence of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in women has risen during the period of 1995 to 2007, according to a newly published study by researchers from the Mayo Clinic. This rise in RA follows a 4-decade period of decline and study authors speculate environmental factors such as cigarette smoking, vitamin D deficiency, and lower dose synthetic estrogens in oral contraceptives may be the source of the increase.

Related Articles


Details of the study which includes more than 50 years of RA epidemiology data appear in the June issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Between 1 and 2 million Americans suffer the effects of RA, a chronic inflammatory disease that targets joints and which contributes to work-related disability, increased morbidity, and shortened survival. Up to one-half of all RA patients become unable to work within 10-20 years of follow-up and those with the disease have a 60% to 70% higher mortality risk than those in the general population. Furthermore, studies show that RA treatments alone account for $9 billion in excess health care costs with direct and indirect costs expected to exceed $39 billion annually.

The current study, led by Sherine Gabriel, M.D., M.Sc., expanded on prior research (1955-1994) from the Mayo Clinic team, by determining RA incidence and prevalence between 1995 and 2007. Researchers screened medical record of 1,761 Olmsted County, Minnesota residents 18 years and older who had received 1 or more diagnoses of arthritis (excluding degenerative arthritis or osteoarthritis). After thorough review of all medical records, a diagnosis of RA was made in 466 patients whose mean age at RA incidence was 55.6 years, with 321 females (69%) in the study cohort.

"We observed a modest increase of RA incidence in women during the study period, which followed a sharp decline in incidence during the previous 4 decades," said Dr. Gabriel. Results show that RA incidence in women increased by 2.5% per year from 1995 to 2007, while a decrease of 0.5% was noted for men. Researchers did not find a disproportionate increase in RA incidence in any particular age group over the study period. "As expected we found an increase in RA prevalence during the same time period," added Dr. Gabriel. The overall age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of RA increased from 0.62% in 1995 to 0.72% in 2005.

Prior studies have clearly demonstrated that cigarette smoking is associated with a greater risk for RA development in both sexes. While smoking rates in the U.S. are declining, the rate is significantly slower in women than men, which researchers believe may, in part, explain the modest increase of RA incidence in women. Researchers also note that lower doses of estrogens found in modern oral contraceptives offer less protection against RA development then at the previously higher doses found in older medications, which they suspect may contribute to the increased RA incidence among women. Furthermore, several studies have shown vitamin D deficiency to be associated with RA development and coupled with evidence that this deficiency, particularly in women, has risen over the past decades the Mayo team considered it a possible contributor to the upward trend in RA.

In an editorial also published in this month's issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, Dr. Ted Mikuls of the University of Nebraska Medical Center remarked, "Public health measures are already under way to address many of the environmental risk factors that have been implicated in RA risk, including interventions that encourage smoking cessation and efforts focused at optimizing levels of physical activity, vitamin D intake, and oral hygiene."

Dr. Gabriel concluded, "Reasons for the increase in incidence we found are unknown, but environmental factors likely play a role and should be further explored."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Elena Myasoedova, Cynthia S. Crowson, Hilal Maradit Kremers, Terry M. Therneau, Sherine E. Gabriel. Is the incidence of rheumatoid arthritis rising? Results from olmsted county, minnesota, 1955-2007. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 2010; DOI: 10.1002/art.27425

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Rheumatoid arthritis incidence on the rise in women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100526111324.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2010, May 27). Rheumatoid arthritis incidence on the rise in women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100526111324.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Rheumatoid arthritis incidence on the rise in women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100526111324.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins