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Physical Activities Protect Against Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Study Suggests

According to recent medical study that engaging in higher levels of physical activity appears to protect against the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA); however, the relationship is not causal.

Photo: Exercise Protects Against Rheumatoid Arthritis | InStyleHealth

Experts have used genetic instruments identified from a genome-wide association study of self-reported and accelerometer-based PA traits to conduct a two-sample mendelian randomization (MR) analysis exploring the causal relationship between the physical activity (PA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

There is a total of four studies that met the eligibility criteria, all of which evaluated leisure-time/recreational PA and identified PA exposure through self-reported or interviewer-administered questionnaires. The 3 studies included older women and one included adult women. These 3 studies were conducted in the US and the rest was done in Sweden.

From the 255,365 participants, there were 4,213 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Quality scores of the studies ranged from 10 to 13, according to the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale.

Physical Activity (PA) was found to have an inverse relationship with RA risk. Highest vs lowest PA level decreased the risk by 21%, while any PA vs inactivity or occasional exercise showed a 15% protection.

On the other hand, the genetic data generated no substantial evidence to support a causal role for genetically predicted accelerometer-measured PA, genetically predicated moderate-to-vigorous PA, or genetically predicted vigorous PA >3 days/week in RA risk.

Researchers have suggested that more studies with larger sample sizes and different ethnicities are necessary to replicate the current findings of the study. For complete details or for a full view of this medical research, click here.


Source: Int J Epidemiol 2021;doi:10.1093/ije/dyab052
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