A little sun cuts rheumatoid arthritis risk in women
Covering up with sunscreen lessens benefits
Long thought of as harmful - as it leads to skin cancer, and at best, unsightly wrinkles - it's been proven that Soaking up the sun may reduce a woman's risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Research has proven that those regularly exposed to sunlight reduced their risk of developing the condition by a fifth.
Those sunscreens and lotions that everyone says to use to beat melanoma? It turns out that using sun creams or covering up to avoid the sun could lessen the protective effects.
In younger women who have heeded the calls to protect themselves from the harmful effects of the sun, the effect of UVB exposure was less evident.
An autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in joints, the main symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is joint pain and swelling.
There are an estimated 300,000 sufferers in the U.K. with women three times more likely to suffer from the disease than men.
The U.S. Nurses' Health Study is the first published research that tracked the health of more than 120,000 nurses since 1976, when they were aged between 30 and 55, until 2008. The second phase tracked the health of a further 115,500 nurses since 1989, when they were aged between 25 and 42, until 2009.
Researchers used UV-B flux, which is a composite measure of UVB radiation, based on latitude, altitude and cloud cover for the study.
Exposure was then estimated according to where they lived in the U.S. and ranged from an annual average of 93 in Alaska and Oregon, to 196 in such sunny states as Hawaii and Arizona. Likely estimates of UV exposure at birth and by the age of 15 were also included.
Over the period, 1,314 women developed rheumatoid arthritis. Among the nurses in the first phase, higher cumulative exposure to UVB was associated with a reduced risk of developing the disease.
Those with the highest levels of exposure were a fifth less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than those with the least.
Confirming other studies, this proved a link between geography and the risk of rheumatoid arthritis as well as other autoimmune conditions, including type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and multiple sclerosis.
No such association for UV-B exposure was found among women in the second phase because these women were younger than those in the first study.
"Differences in sun protective behaviors, for example greater use of sun block in younger generations, may explain the disparate results," the study's authors added.
"Our study adds to the growing evidence that exposure to UV-B light is associated with decreased risk of rheumatoid arthritis. The mechanisms are not yet understood, but could be mediated by the coetaneous production of vitamin D and attenuated by use of sunscreen or sun avoidant behavior."
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Sun exposure, rheumatoid arhtritis, study, women, skin cancer, sunscreen
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Health News
- Forget printing guns, doctors use 3D printer to save baby
- Is it really that simple? - Research suggests ordinary vitamin C kills drug-resistant TB
- Chamomile tea can be refreshing treat - as well as a safeguard against cancer, researchers say
- HIV resurgent among Navajo tribe as deadly cases spike
- UK to give cancer patients genetic analysis just like Angelina Jolie
- Vitamin D found beneficial in treating asthma symptoms
- Study: Depressed women in 40s, 50s suffer more than twice for stroke risk
- Some experts say it's biologically possible to clone a human
- Study: Women live longer than men as their immune systems age more slowly
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?