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Environmental Factors Tied to Psoriatic Arthritis Development

Last Updated: August 10, 2011.

Environmental factors, including infections that require antibiotic treatment, injuries, and occupations that involved lifting heavy weights, are significantly associated with the development of psoriatic arthritis, according to a study published in the August issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Environmental factors, including infections that require antibiotic treatment, injuries, and occupations that involved lifting heavy weights, are significantly associated with the development of psoriatic arthritis (PsA), according to a study published in the August issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

Lihi Eder, M.D., from the Toronto Western Hospital, and colleagues investigated the association between potential environmental exposures and the development of PsA. A total of 159 patients with recent-onset PsA and 159 controls with psoriasis but without arthritis participated in the study. Standardized questionnaires were used to collect data on environmental exposure to: smoking, alcohol consumption, infections, injuries, physically demanding occupational tasks, stressful life events, vaccinations, and female hormones. The association between exposure to environmental events and disease was evaluated using logistic regression analysis, adjusted for age, gender, education level, and duration and severity of psoriasis.

The investigators found that, after multivariate logistic regression, lifting cumulative loads of at least 100 pounds/hour (odds ratio [OR], 2.8), infections requiring antibiotic treatment (OR, 1.7), smoking (OR, 0.6), and injuries (OR, 2.1) were significantly associated with PsA. Inclusion of each of the environmental exposure factors in a single regression model did not change the results substantially, but the significance for injuries became borderline. Exposure to alcohol consumption, vaccinations, stressful life events, and female hormones were not found to be associated with PsA.

"Infections that required antibiotic treatment, injuries, and occupations that involved lifting heavy weights were associated with PsA, while there was an inverse association with smoking," the author writes.

One of the study authors disclosed a financial tie to Abbott.

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