Sinusitis, 'common cold' tied with increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis: study
Sinusitis, the 'common cold' tied with an increase risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis, according to a new study published in the Journal of Rheumatology.
A group of researchers aimed to determine whether specific respiratory tract diseases are associated with increased rheumatoid arthritis (RA) risk.
This case-control study within the Mass General Brigham Biobank matched newly diagnosed RA cases to three controls on age, sex, and electronic health record history. They identified RA using a validated algorithm and confirmed by medical record review. Respiratory tract disease exposure required one inpatient or two outpatient codes at least two years before the index date of RA clinical diagnosis or matched date. Logistic regression models calculated odds ratios (OR) for RA with 95% confidence intervals (CI), adjusting for confounders. The researchers then stratified by serostatus ("seropositive" was a positive rheumatoid factor and/or anti-citrullinated protein antibodies) and smoking.
The Results of the study are as follows:
The researchers identified 741 RA cases and 2,223 controls (both median age 55, 76% female). Acute sinusitis (OR 1.61, 95% CI:1.05,2.45), chronic sinusitis (OR 2.16, 95% CI:1.39,3.35), and asthma (OR 1.39, 95% CI:1.03,1.87) were associated with increased risk of RA. Acute respiratory tract disease burden during the pre-index exposure period was also associated with increased RA risk (OR 1.30 per 10 codes, 95% CI:1.08,1.55). Acute pharyngitis was associated with seronegative (OR 1.68, 95% CI:1.02,2.74) but not seropositive RA; chronic rhinitis/pharyngitis was associated with seropositive (OR 2.46, 95% CI:1.01,5.99) but not seronegative RA. Respiratory tract diseases tended towards higher associations in smokers, especially >10 packyears (OR 1.52, 95% CI:1.02,2.27; p=0.10 for interaction).
Thus, the researchers concluded that Acute/chronic sinusitis and pharyngitis and acute respiratory burden increased RA risk. The mucosal paradigm of RA pathogenesis may involve the upper respiratory tract.
Association of sinusitis and upper respiratory tract diseases with incident rheumatoid arthritis: A case-control study by Vanessa L. Kronzer, et al. published in the Journal of Rheumatology.