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Why Are Women At Greater Risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Because rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is less common in men than women, a new study in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases investigates the role of sex hormones in the disease pathogenesis. Blood samples were analyzed from RA patients and controls. “In conditional logistic regression models, adjusted for smoking and body mass index, lower levels of testosterone were associated with subsequent development of RF [rheumatoid factor]-negative RA (OR 0.31 per SD, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.85), with a weaker association with RF-positive RA (OR 0.87 per SD; 95% CI 0.53 to 1.43). Levels of follicle-stimulating hormone were significantly increased in pre-RF-negative RA (p=0.02), but decreased in pre-RF-positive RA (p=0.02).”

Read it in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.