Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects many of your joints, including those in your hands and feet. While there's no treatment for it, doctors suggest physiotherapy and certain medications to help slow down the pain.
If you're at risk of rheumatoid arthritis, you'll be interested to know that a Swedish study published in 2013 found that eating salmon at least once a week can cut your risk by an impressive 52%.
To learn more about rheumatoid arthritis risk factors and this breakthrough study, read on!
Rheumatoid arthritis risk factors include gender, age, genetics, smoking and testosterone
Let’s take a more in-depth look at each risk factor:
According to The Mayo Clinic in the US, rheumatoid arthritis
is two to three times more common in women than in men. Some experts think this may be due to the effects of oestrogen, which may play a role in the development of the disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis is more likely to begin in people between ages 40 and 60. That said, the disease can develop at any age.
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People who have family members with rheumatoid arthritis have a higher risk of developing it themselves, compared to people with no family history of the disease. Experts confirm that rheumatoid arthritis isn’t inherited, but rather the predisposition to develop it.
Smokers are at significantly higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis because the unhealthy habit makes the outlook for the disease worse.
Researchers from Lund University in Sweden found that low testosterone in males could be a predictor of rheumatoid arthritis later in life.
Swedish study links 52% lower rheumatoid arthritis risk to eating salmon at least once a week
Researchers behind the study, from the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, looked at 32,000 women born between 1914 and 1948.
These women completed surveys on what they ate in a week in 1987 and again in 1997. During the study period, 205 of the women developed rheumatoid arthritis.
The researchers found that women who had consistently high daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids in both 1987 and 1997 were 52% less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
They linked eating oily fish like salmon or mackerel at least once a week to the same 52% reduced risk. The same benefit came from eating four portions of lean fish like cod or plaice.
According to the researchers, the difference is in the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, which are much more abundant in oily fish than in lean fish.
Furthermore, eating one portion of any type of fish each week for 10 years led to a 29% reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
The team published their study in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.