Study upends infection theory in RA

An intriguing Swedish study has found that a recent history of certain infections actually diminishes the chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Data from nearly 3000 newly diagnosed RA patients plus controls show those reporting gastroenteritis in the previous two years had a 29% smaller chance of RA, after controlling for smoking, socioeconomic status and gender.

Urinary and genital tract infections also seemed to have a protective effect against RA.

However, a history of respiratory infections such as

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