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Studies Suggest Link Between Smog, Joint Disease
Date:11/5/2011

l in Boston, said in an American College of Rheumatology news release.

Hart was lead investigator of the U.S. study and was scheduled to present the U.S. and Swedish findings at the meeting.

The U.S. study found that only exposure to sulfur dioxide was associated with modest increases in rheumatoid arthritis risk. Those with a high exposure to sulfur dioxide had a 5 percent greater risk of rheumatoid arthritis than those with low exposure.

But Hart noted that the U.S. participants were part of the Nurses' Health Study, which meant they may have had a higher overall socioeconomic status than the Swedish participants.

Study data and conclusions presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

About 1.3 million Americans have rheumatoid arthritis, which typically affects women twice as often as men. Previous research has suggested a connection between environmental factors and rheumatoid arthritis.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about rheumatoid arthritis.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American College of Rheumatology, news release, Nov. 5, 2011


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