Rheumatoid arthritis risk enhanced by exposure to common workplace fumes, dusts


eMediNexus    08 December 2022

A study published online in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases revealed inhaling routine workplace dust, and fumes from substances, including vapours, gases, and solvents, may raise the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis and the adverse effects of smoking and hereditary sickness vulnerability.


The study comprised 6,485 individuals free of the condition (comparison group) and 4,033 individuals with new diagnoses between 1996 and 2017. Using an established method, personal career histories were utilized to calculate the level of exposure to 32 airborne occupational contaminants.


Each participant was given a Genetic Risk Score (GRS) based on whether they possessed genes that would raise their risk of contracting rheumatoid arthritis. Data analysis revealed that exposure to workplace agents was linked to a 25% higher chance of developing ACPA-positive rheumatoid arthritis, with a 40% higher risk in men.


The likelihood of contracting an ACPA-positive condition was significantly enhanced by substances like quartz, asbestos, diesel, gasoline, carbon monoxide, and fungicides, while ACPA-negative disease was significantly linked to substances like quartz dust (silica), asbestos, and detergents.


The study showed that in particular, the people had a chance of having ACPA-positive rheumatoid arthritis 45 times more in case of exposure to gasoline engine exhaust fumes, 28 times worse for diesel exhaust, 68 times greater for pesticides, and 32 times greater for quartz dust (silica). For ACPA-negative illness, the equivalent range was insignificant.


The risk grew, with the highest correlations being found for exposures lasting between 8 and 15 years. Men often had higher exposure times to agents than women.


Experts stated that environmental health programs should lessen public exposure to ambient contaminants including carbon monoxide and gasoline exhaust. Initiatives to improve occupational health should lessen risks from asbestos and detergents and public health activities should be implemented to reduce cigarette use to lower the chance of getting rheumatoid arthritis.


(Source: https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/health/common-workplace-fumes-dusts-may-heighten-rheumatoid-arthritis-risk-458678)

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