Most common allergies are not associated with the risk for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but some allergic conditions, including animal dander allergy and atopic dermatitis, are associated with increased RA risk, according to a study recently published in RMD Open.
Vanessa L. Kronzer, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues conducted a case-control study involving 3,515 incident RA cases and 5,429 matched controls from the Epidemiological Investigation of Rheumatoid Arthritis study 1995 to 2016 to examine the association of allergic conditions with incident RA.
The researchers found that a history of any reported allergy was equally common in patients with RA and matched controls (30 and 29 percent, respectively). There was no association observed for metal, respiratory, food, plant/pollen, or chemical allergies with RA risk. However, there were significant associations seen for animal dander allergy (6 versus 5 percent; adjusted odds ratio, 1.37), especially in anticitrullinated peptide antibody (ACPA)-positive RA (adjusted odds ratio, 1.46), and for atopic dermatitis, especially for older adults and/or ACPA-negative RA (adjusted odds ratio, 2.33 at age 80 years).
“The bidirectional association between certain atopic and autoimmune diseases supports a possible association between atopic diseases and RA that merits further study,” the authors write.