Those living in sunnier climates may have a reduced risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, says a new study from researchers at the Harvard Medical School. For the study the researchers collected data on 100,000 women starting first in 1976.
They found that those living in sunnier climates were 21 percent less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than those in less sunny climates.
"Our study adds to the growing evidence that exposure to UV-B light is associated with decreased risk of rheumatoid arthritis," the researchers explained.
According to Dr. Chris Deighton of British Society for Rheumatology, this is not an endorsement of prolonged sun exposure:
"We cannot advocate everybody sitting in the sunshine all day to protect from rheumatoid arthritis, because UV-B burns people and increases the risk of skin cancer. The treatment options in rheumatology have transformed the lives of patients with this crippling disease in recent years and anything that adds to our knowledge is welcomed."
by RTT Staff Writer
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