Certain Occupations May Increase the Risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Assistant nurses and attendants had a moderately increased risk of ACPA+ RA among women.
Assistant nurses and attendants had a moderately increased risk of ACPA+ RA among women.

HealthDay News — Certain occupations related to potential noxious airborne agents are associated with increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in workers, according to a study published online August 10 in Arthritis Care & Research.

Anna Ilar, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues analyzed 3,522 cases and 5,580 controls from the Swedish population-based Epidemiological Investigation of Rheumatoid Arthritis case-control study to examine the correlation between occupation and the risk of anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA)+ RA or ACPA− RA. Information on work history and lifestyle factors was obtained using a questionnaire. 

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The researchers found that bricklayers and concrete workers, material handling operators, and electrical and electronics workers had increased risk of ACPA+ RA among men (odds ratios, 2.9 [95% CI, 1.4 to 5.7], 2.4 [95% CI, 1.3 to 4.4], and 2.1 [95% CI, 1.1 to 3.8], respectively). Bricklayers and concrete workers and electrical and electronics workers had increased risk of ACPA− RA (odds ratios, 2.4 [95% CI, 1.0 to 5.7] and 2.6 [95% CI, 1.3 to 5.0], respectively). Assistant nurses and attendants had a moderately increased risk of ACPA+ RA among women (odds ratio, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1 to 1.6), while no occupations correlated significantly with ACPA− RA.

"Mainly occupations related to potential noxious airborne agents were associated with an increased risk of ACPA+ or ACPA− RA, after adjustments for previously known confounders," the authors write.

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