Washington: A team of researchers in Manchester have found that lifestyle factors including smoking, obesity and diabetes, increase an individual`s chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
The research group at the Arthritis Research UK Epidemiology, which is part of the National Institute of Health Research Manchester Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit, looked at a sample of over 25,000 people, aged 40-79 years old who have been followed over a number of years to discover if lifestyle factors had an affect on developing the disease.
When they compared 184 participants who went on to develop arthritis to those who did not, they found that smoking, obesity and having diabetes all increased the risk. It was also found that drinking a small amount of alcohol and being in a higher social class were associated with a reduced risk of developing the disease.
The study also examined gender specific factors and found women who had more than two children and breastfed for a shorter amount of time also had a higher risk of developing RA.
"The factors we studied give us vital clues to the early events in the process that ends in someone developing RA," Professor Ian Bruce, NIHR Senior Investigator and Professor of Rheumatology at The University of Manchester and consultant at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said.