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A study was done at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. It is the second largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School and the largest hospital of the Longwood Medical and Academic Area in Boston, Massachusetts. The objective was to evaluate the effects of long term physical activity on subsequent risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in a prospective cohort study, which is A research study that follows over time groups of individuals who are alike in many ways but differ by a certain characteristic (for example, female nurses who have RA) and compares them for a particular outcome.

CONCLUSION of the Study

Higher levels of physical activity were associated with reduced RA risk. These results add to the literature implicating metabolic factors in the parthogenesis of RA.

About The Study

The methods included investigation of physical activity and RA risk among women from the Nurses Health Study (1989-2015). Physical activity exposure and characteristics of the participants took place every other year with questionnaires. Two rheumatologist independently reviewed the the medical records of women who self-reported a new diagnosis of RA on the two year questionnaires and were screened positive fro RA based on a supplemental survey. The primary analysis investigated the long term cumulative average number of hours spent in recreational physical activity two to eight years prior to the RA diagnosis. Early RA affects physical activity prior to diagnosis. A log of the hazard ratio were used to assess the risk of RA serologic phenotypes in relation to physical activity categories. The analyses were adjusted for BMI (body mass) at age 18 and time varying potential con founders, and the mediating effect of updated BMI on the interaction between physical activity and RA risk was measured.

Results in Detail

Results Among the 113,366 women analyzed, 506 incident RA cases (67% with seropositive RA) were identified during 2,428,573 person-years of follow up. After adjustment for confounders, including smoking, dietary quality and BMI at age 18 years, increasing cumulative average total hours of recreational physical activity was associated with a reduced risk of RA. as follows: HR 1.00 for <1 hour/week (reference), HR 1.00 (95% CI 0.78-1.29) for 1 to <2 hours/week, HR 0.92 (95% CI 0.72-1.17) for 2 to <4 hours/week, HR 0.84 (95% CI 0.63-1.12) for 4 to <7 hours/week, and HR 0.67 (95% CI 0.47-0.98) for ≥7 hours/week (P for trend = 0.02). The proportion of the effect between physical activity and RA mediated by updated BMI was 14.0% (P = 0.002) for all RA and 20.0% (P = 0.001) for seropositive RA.

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About Cincinnati Rheumatic Disease Study Group

The Cincinnati Rheumatic Disease Study Group (CRDSG) is an organization of practicing rheumatologists dedicated to improving the care of patients with arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. It strives to do this by performing rigorous and ethical clinical research with the goal of developing better treatments for all patients with these conditions.
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