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Airway Inflammation Drives Rheumatoid Risk

Mar 04, 2020 11:30 am

A cohort analysis of the Nurses' Health Study suggests that asthma and COPD are associated with increased risk for incident rheumatoid arthritis (RA), independent of smoking- thus airway inflammation may be an important factor in the evolution of pre-cllnical RA.

This analysis included 205,153 women from the prospective Nurses' Health Study (NHS, 1988‐2014) and NHSII (1991‐2015) and correlated this with self‐reported physician‐diagnosed asthma or COPD (confirmed and validated).

THe cohort included 15,148 women with asthma and 3,573 with COPD, and ultimately 1,060 incident RA cases during 4,384,471 person‐years of follow‐up.

Incident RA was associated with prior asthma (HR 1.53, 95%CI 1.24,1.88) and COPD (HR 1.89, 95%CI 1.31,2.75).

Asthma remained associated with increased RA risk among never‐smokers only (HR 1.53, 95%CI 1.14,2.05). The association of COPD with RA was most pronounced in ever‐smokers aged >55 years (HR 2.20, 95%CI 1.38,3.51).

These results support for the hypothesis that chronic airway inflammation may be crucial in RA pathogenesis.

The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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