Rheumatoid Arthritis increases with Air Pollution, finds study

Air pollution vastly affects the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis, finds a new study. According to researchers, worsening air pollution increases the symptoms of the disease in the patient. For the first time, any study has linked rheumatoid Arthritis with location or level of pollution.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic progressive disease causing inflammation in the joints and resulting in painful deformity and immobility, especially in the fingers, wrists, feet, and ankles.

For the study researchers observed 500 patients with Rheumatoid Arhtriis living in Delhi which is among the most polluted cities in the world. After observing the participants for over 10 years it was noted that the capital had highest amount suspended particulate matter (SPM) 2.5 in the atmosphere in the month of November and December, it is same month in which symptoms for the disease are on the rise.

‘We collected the data of air quality from IMD in New Delhi for the past few years and then tracked the patients undergoing treatment for rheumatoid arthritis here at AIIMS and found that when the Particulate Matter in air was high, then more disease activity was found in the patients.

‘Symptoms in the patients worsened in November and December when suspended particulate matter (SPM) 2.5 increases in the atmosphere. Patients showed worsening of symptoms like joint pain and swelling when the air pollutants increased,’ said a senior doctor at AIIMS ahead of the World Arthritis Day on October 12.

Disease rheumatological arthritis is not curable but its symptoms can be suppressed if proper care is taken. Researchers warned people living in India as the are most unaware of the disease. Researchers say that early the detection, better the disease could be treat. However, due to lack of awareness of Indian people, it is very common to see delayed detection which leads to the joint deformity and irreversible organ damage..

The study was funded Department of Science and Technology.

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