Routine exposure to the sun, especially ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, may decrease the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, according to a new study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. Researchers pointed to growing “evidence that exposure to UV-B light is associated with decreased risk of rheumatoid arthritis.”
In the past research has established an association between geography and the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, in addition to other autoimmune conditions such as type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
In a separate study from 2010 conducted by the Boston University School of Public Health, it was revealed that women living in northeastern states in the U.S. are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis. The authors found a link between vitamin D deficiency and rheumatoid arthritis.
This could suggest that women living in states such as Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire were seen to have higher rates of rheumatoid arthritis because they were exposed to less sunlight.
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