London: Soaking up the Sun may reduce women`s risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, according to a new study.Researchers found that women regularly exposed to sunlight reduced their risk of developing the condition by a fifth.However, using sun creams or covering up to avoid the rays could lessen the protective effects.Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in joints and the main symptoms are joint pain and swelling.The long term study looked at participants in two phases of the US Nurses` Health Study, the first of which has tracked the health of more than 120,000 nurses since 1976, when they were aged between 30 and 55, until 2008, the `Daily Mail` reported.The second phase tracked the health of a further 115,500 nurses since 1989, when they were aged between 25 and 42, until 2009.
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