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Work Exposure to Noxious Fumes May Up Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk

Among men, bricklayers and concrete workers, electrical and electronic workers have increased risk

arthritic hands

THURSDAY, Aug. 10, 2017 (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 Aug. 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.

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 percent CI, 1.4 to 5.7], 2.4 [95 percent CI, 1.3 to 4.4], and 2.1 [95 percent 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 percent CI, 1.0 to 5.7] and 2.6 [95 percent 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 percent 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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