Rheumatoid arthritis: More common in sun-deficient women

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Dr. Elisabeth Arkema published the following study:

Arkema EV, Hart JE, Bertrand KA, Laden F, Grodstein F, Rosner BA, Karlson EW, Costenbader KH. 
Exposure to ultraviolet-B and risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis among women
in the Nurses' Health Study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2013 Apr;72(4):506-11.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between ultraviolet-B (UV-B) light exposure
and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) risk among women in two large prospective cohort
studies, the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and the Nurses' Health Study II (NHSII).
METHODS: A total of 106 368 women from NHS, aged 30-55 years in 1976, and 115 561
women from NHSII, aged 25-42 in 1989, were included in the analysis. We
identified women with incident RA from the start of each cohort until 2008 (NHS) 
and 2009 (NHSII). Cumulative average UV-B flux, a composite measure of ambient UV
exposure based on latitude, altitude and cloud cover, was estimated according to 
state of residence and categorised as low, medium or high. Estimates of UV-B at
birth and age 15 years were also examined. We used multivariable-adjusted Cox
proportional hazards models to estimate HR and 95% CI.
RESULTS: 1314 incident RA cases were identified in total. Among NHS participants,
higher cumulative average UV-B exposure was associated with decreased RA risk;
those in the highest versus lowest category had a 21% decreased RA risk (HR (95% 
CI); 0.79 (0.66 to 0.94)). UV-B was not associated with RA risk among younger
women in NHSII (1.12 (0.87 to 1.44)). Results were similar for UV-B at birth and 
at age 15.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that ambient UV-B exposure is associated with 
a lower RA risk in NHS, but not NHSII. Differences in sun-protective behaviours
(eg, greater use of sun block in younger generations) may explain the disparate
results.
From Karolinska Hospital where currently working Dr. Arkema explains the results

Listen the video here:

http://www.md-fm.com/player.php?id=815&log=e0718a44e738d3470b056c8e69ce2653&spec=0

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