Uppsala University researchers shed new light on the interplay between hormone usage and the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in a study involving over 200,000 UK women.
Published in Rheumatology, the study outlines the protective aspect of contraceptive pills against RA and the increased risk associated with hormone treatment during menopause.
A Dual Role for Hormones in Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
Fatemeh Hadizadeh from Uppsala University’s Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology elucidates that the contraceptive pill utilization relates to a 19% decrease in RA risk compared to non-users.
Moreover, an 11% reduced risk persists even after ceasing its usage.
In a contrary note, women undergoing hormone treatment during menopause experienced a 16% escalated risk of developing RA compared to their counterparts who did not engage in such treatments.
Why the Difference?
Rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory disorder known for painfully swollen joints and potential to impact other organs, has a nuanced relationship with hormone use.
The study suggests that discrepancies in the risks associated with contraceptive pills and menopause-related hormone treatments might hinge upon differences in hormone types, dosages, and life phases during which they are used.
The physiological shifts post-menopause, which alter natural hormone ratios in women, might also dictate how various hormonal drugs influence disease risk.
Unraveling the Complex Tapestry of Hormones and RA
The research adds to the growing body of knowledge surrounding the convoluted interrelationships between hormone use and RA.
This could pave the way for enhanced guidelines for women at an elevated risk of RA, and potentially inform the development of new pharmaceuticals.
As Weronica E Ek, the study’s lead, reflects, these findings could serve as stepping stones toward refining recommendations and fostering advancements in drug development, thus providing women with more robust information and potentially more effective treatment options in the future.
This study underscores the need to dig deeper into the multifaceted interactions of hormone usage and RA risk, ensuring women are aptly informed and safeguarded.
If you care about arthritis, please read studies about extra virgin olive oil for arthritis, and pomegranate: A natural treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
For more information about arthritis, please see recent studies about how to live pain-free with arthritis, and results showing medical cannabis may help reduce arthritis pain, back pain.
The research findings can be found in Rheumatology.
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