Association between work physical activity, dietary factors, and risk of rheumatoid arthritis

Vanessa L. Kronzer, Ryan J. Lennon, Jeffrey A. Sparks, Elena Myasoedova, John Manley III Davis, Cynthia S. Crowson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We aimed to determine the association of physical activity and dietary factors on RA risk. Methods: This case-control study within the Mayo Clinic Biobank matched incident RA cases (two codes plus disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug, PPV 95%) to controls 1:3 on age, sex, and recruitment year/location. A baseline questionnaire assessed activity and dietary exposures. Logistic regression models calculated adjusted odds ratios (aOR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) of RA for each of 45 activity/dietary exposures. Results: We identified 212 incident RA cases and 636 controls (mean age 64, 70% female). Active work physical activity was associated with elevated risk of RA (aOR 3.00, 95% CI 1.58–5.69 vs. sedentary); leisure activity was not (aOR 0.96, 95% CI 0.64–1.42 sedentary vs. active). Three or more servings high-fat food and 5+ servings fruits/vegetables daily showed non-significant associations with RA (aOR 1.22, 95% CI 0.74–2.00 vs. 0–1 time; aOR 0.75, 95% CI 0.51–1.11 vs. 0–3 times), especially in sensitivity analyses with at least five years between questionnaire and RA (aOR 1.80, 95% CI 0.69–4.71; aOR 0.54, 95% CI 0.27–1.08). Alcohol binging was not associated with RA risk (aOR 1.28, 95% CI 0.56–2.96). Finally, sensitivity (versus primary) analyses showed a nonsignificant increase in RA risk for most vitamins and supplements. Conclusion: Active work physical activity and some nutritional profiles (increased high-fat, reduced fruit/vegetable consumption) may be associated with increased risk of RA. Confirmatory studies are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number152100
JournalSeminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Diet
  • Epidemiology
  • Exercise
  • Obesity
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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