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Study: Eating fish could help prevent rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that typically affects a person's hands and feet. Rheumatoid arthritis is different from traditional arthritis or osteoarthritis because it affects the lining of your joints. It can cause painful swelling that eventually results in bone erosion and joint deformity.

Currently, there is no cure for arthritis, but there are many treatments available. Additionally, there are certain lifestyle choices that have been tied to decreasing a person's chances of suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

For example, according to a recent study, eating fish regularly in a woman's diet could be tied to lowering her risk of rheumatoid arthritis. The large study was conducted by reaserchers in Sweden who found that women who consumed fish at least once per week were 29 percent less likely to develop the condition.


The study, which was published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, found that fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring seemed to be most effective at preventing rheumatoid arthritis because of an inflammation-fighting fat called omega-3.

The vice president of public health policy and advocacy for the Arthritis Foundation agreed that fish is a healthy choice and good for people for many reasons. However, he added that the most important lifestyle choice people can make to avoid rheumatoid arthritis is to not smoke.

Additionally, she added that maintaining a healthy weight and exercising may not help prevent rheumatoid arthritis but can make management of the disease easier.

It is believed that about 1.3 million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, and it affects women at a higher rate than men. In some cases, the pain and stiffness can be so severe that it impairs a person's ability to work. When this is the case, Social Security Disability benefits may be available to help support the individual financially.

Source: Health.com, "Eating Fish May Be Tied to Lower Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk: Study," Aug. 12, 2013

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