Study Suggests Mediterranean Style Diet not Associated with Reduced Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk

A recently published study suggests that women who follow a Mediterranean-style do not have a reduced risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

The study published by Yang Hu of Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston in the Sept. 23 issue of Arthritis Care and Research evaluated data from nearly 175,000 women in two U.S. cohorts: the 1980-2008 Nurses Health Study, and the 1991-2009 Nurses Health Study II, and followed them for several years.

Previous studies have suggested Women who follow a Mediterranean-style diet which is high in whole grains, nuts, fish, and legumes and low in red meats, processed meats, and saturated fats may have a reduced risk of developing RA and other inflammatory conditions.

The findings are not consistent with the results of other studies in which the Mediterranean style diet was associated with a reduced risk of certain inflammatory diseases or observations of clinical improvement in people with RA. Interestingly, when components of the Mediterranean style diet were evaluated individually, only alcohol consumption was associated with RA risk; with moderate consumption linked to lower risk of developing RA.

The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Reference:  Arthritis Care and Research (doi:10.1002/acr.22481)