Asthma, COPD linked with increased risk for RA in women
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Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are each associated with an increased risk for rheumatoid arthritis, independent of smoking and other variables, according to data published in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

To analyze whether asthma or COPD were associated with RA, Ford and colleagues conducted a prospective, cohort study of 205,153 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS). The researchers used data from both the 1988-2014 NHS and the 1991-2015 iteration (NHS 2). They validated self-reported and physician-diagnosed asthma and COPD through supplemental questionnaires. In all, 15,148 of the included participants had confirmed asthma and 3,573 had confirmed COPD.

Outcomes included incident RA, confirmed via a medical record review conducted by two rheumatologists. Covariates included smoking status and pack-years, and were identified through biennial questionnaires. The researchers estimated multivariable hazard ratios and confidence intervals using Cox regression.

According to the researchers, there were 1,060 cases of incidence RA during 4,384,471 person-years of follow-up in NHS and NHSII. After adjusting for smoking packyears and status, asthma was associated with an increased risk for RA compared with no asthma or COPD. This increased risk was also present among never-smokers only. Further, COPD was also associated with an increased risk for RA. This association was most pronounced among ever-smokers older than 55 years.

Asthma and COPD were each associated with increased risk for incident RA, independent of smoking status/intensity and other potential confounders. These results provide support for the hypothesis that chronic airway inflammation may be crucial in RA pathogenesis

Source: https://www.healio.com/rheumatology/rheumatoid-arthritis/news/online/{d6636ce5-e2b8-4ba7-abdb-169cbeda3006}/asthma-copd-linked-with-increased-risk-for-ra-in-women
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