A study recently published in Arthritis Care & Research suggests that workers in certain industries may be more susceptible to being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) than others.
The researchers found that men, and particularly those working as either electricians or around electronics or as either concrete or brick layers are particularly susceptible to the disease. They also found that women working as medical attendants or assistant nurses had an abnormally high risk of developing RA.
To learn more about the risk that working in certain industries posed, researchers compared blood test results of known sufferers of RA with their intake questionnaires describing their lifestyles and work histories. Even when controlling for other risk factors such as body mass, tobacco and alcohol use and educational levels, researchers found that those who had contact with certain airborne toxins seemed to develop RA more often.
Among the cases analyzed, those who had been exposed to textile dust, traffic-related environmental waste, asbestos, pesticides, and other harmful minerals or solvents were found to result in a higher risk for RA. Silica dust, a substance that had been previously linked to RA, was yet again confirmed to contribute to the emergence of the disease.
Researchers note that understanding that certain airborne toxins can cause RA among these male workers explains only one part of the story. As for women working in nursing, they can only assume that their increased risk of RA has to do with the fact that their jobs are physically demanding. They note much more research has to be done with respect to the connection between physical exertion and RA though.
RA, in contrast with other types of arthritis, is a kind of autoimmune disease. Those afflicted with it experience a degeneration of their joints. Like most autoimmune diseases, adverse RA reactions can be brought on by stress and environmental factors, such as inhaling polluted air.
If you have experienced long term exposure to a toxic workplace and you're now suffering from RA, then you may benefit from discussing your legal matter with a Baltimore workers' compensation attorney. In doing so, he or she may be able to advise you of your rights to reimbursement for your medical expenses, lost income and disability in your case.
Source: Healthline, "Certain Jobs Carry Higher Risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis," Gigen Mammoser, Aug. 10, 2017