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ACR: Studies Explore Link Between Diet and RA

Healthy eating might help prevent the disease, researchers say

MONDAY, Nov. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Diet may influence risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, two new studies suggest. The research was scheduled to be presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, held from Nov. 6 to 11 in San Francisco.

One study included 93,859 American women, aged 25 to 42, who provided information about their diet every four years between 1991 and 2011. During that time, 347 of them developed rheumatoid arthritis. Those who ate a typical North American diet — high in red and processed meat, refined grains, fried food, high-fat dairy, and sweets — were more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than those who ate a diet high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, poultry, and fish.

In the other study, the same research team analyzed other data from the women’s study and found that following the Dietary Guidelines for Americans can lower the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Those guidelines are intended to help people make informed food choices and be physically active to maintain a healthy weight and reduce their risk of chronic disease.

The results show “that a healthy diet may prevent rheumatoid arthritis development, and our team is interested in conducting further studies to look at why diet is associated with this risk,” lead investigator Bing Lu, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, said in a news release from the American College of Rheumatology.

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