Working environment is one cause of rheumatoid arthritis

Published 2008-09-24 00:00. Updated 2014-02-21 10:30

It has long been known that environmental factors play a part in the development of rheumatoid arthritis; smoking and drinking alcohol, along with heredity, are particularly instrumental in increasing the risk of the disease. Scientists at Karolinska Institutet have now produced results that suggest that working environment factors can also increase the chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

This is especially true of psychosocial workload, in particular what is called "low decision latitude", according to the results of a study in progress due to be published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. The project is being led by Professor Lars Alfredsson of the Department of Environmental Medicine and Professor Lars Klareskog of the Department of Medicine.

"We've uncovered clear correlations between the disease and jobs in which one cannot control one's own situation," says Professor Alfredsson.

Professor Alfredsson is to present some of their results today at a research seminar in Stockholm arranged by Karolinska Institutet and AFA Försäkring insurance company.

Karolinska Institutet has received support from AFA Försäkring for many years for research into common diseases and the effects of the working environment on health. Some of the most important research projects will also be presented at the seminar.