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About me

I am a PhD student at Environmental Medicine, unit of Cardiovascular Epidemiology, since January 2014. My main supervisor is Lars Alfredsson and my co-supervisors are Camilla Bengtsson, Per Gustavsson and Lars Klareskog.

Education

2014 Registered as PhD student in Epidemiology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

2013 Master of Medical Science (120 credits) with a major in Public Health Sciences, specialization in Epidemiology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

2011 Bachelor of Arts (180 credits) with a major in Public Health Sciences, Gävle University, Gävle, Sweden

Research description

Airborne occupational exposures and risk of rheumatoid arthritis

 

The overall goal of this PhD project is to explore different airborne occupational exposures and risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. The exposures will be studied in relation to immunologically defined subtypes of rheumatoid arthritis. The gene-environment interaction between these exposures and genetic risk factors will be explored.

 Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disease causing chronic inflammation in the synovial membranes and the joints. The damage caused by the inflammation is irreversible and will have a negative impact on the structures of the joint capsule, the articular joint cartilage and adjacent arteries.

The disease development is believed to occur through a complex interaction between genes, environmental factors and immunity, with smoking being the major environmental risk factor. Due to the association between smoking and RA, and the potential lung involvement in the etiology of the disease, there is a need to evaluate whether other airborne exposures are related to the risk of developing RA. Exposures of interest are exposure to chemicals and various types of dust. Such studies could provide further knowledge on the role of the lungs in the etiology of RA. 

 

Specific aims of the studies

Study I To explore the association between occupation and the risk of developing RA. Which occupations are associated with the risk of RA compared to the rest of the workforce, among men and women? Are different occupations differently associated with the risk of ACPA+ RA and ACPA- RA? This PhD project is based on the population-based case-control study EIRA (Epidemiological Investigation of Rheumatoid Arthritis).

Study II To study occupational exposure to textile dust and risk of developing ACPA+ RA and ACPA- RA in women. This PhD project is based on the Malaysian case-control study MyEIRA.

Study III To explore the associations between occupational exposure to asbestos and risk of seropositive RA or seronegative RA in a large register-based case-control study. Incident cases of RA are enrolled from the Swedish Rheumatology Quality Register. Exposure to asbestos will be assessed through a job-exposure matrix and applied to work histories from 1960-1990, available from population and housing censuses.  

Study IV To explore the associations between occupational exposure to organic dusts and risk of seropositive RA or seronegative RA in a large register-based case-control study. Incident cases of RA are enrolled from the Swedish Rheumatology Quality Register. Exposure to different organic dusts will be assessed through a job-exposure matrix and applied to work histories from 1960-1990, available from population and housing censuses.  

Links

Publications

Occupation and Risk of Developing Rheumatoid Arthritis: Results From a Population-Based Case-Control Study
Ilar A, Alfredsson L, Wiebert P, Klareskog L, Bengtsson C
Arthritis care & research 2018;70(4):499-509

Reply
Ilar A, Alfredsson L, Wiebert P, Klareskog L, Bengtsson C
Arthritis care & research 2018;70(8):1276-

Occupational exposure to diesel motor exhaust and risk of lung cancer by histological subtype: a population-based case-control study in Swedish men
Ilar A, Plato N, Lewné M, Pershagen G, Gustavsson P
European journal of epidemiology 2017;32(8):711-719

Occupational links to increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis
Ilar A
BRITISH JOURNAL OF HOSPITAL MEDICINE 2017;78(9):490-490

Occupational exposure to textile dust increases the risk of rheumatoid arthritis: results from a Malaysian population-based case-control study
Myeira Study Group, Too Cl, Muhamad Na, Ilar A, Padyukov L, Alfredsson L, et al
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 2016;75(6):997-1002

Associations with smoking and shared epitope differ between IgA- and IgG-class antibodies to cyclic citrullinated peptides in early rheumatoid arthritis
Svärd A, Skogh T, Alfredsson L, Ilar A, Klareskog L, Bengtsson C, et al
Arthritis & rheumatology (Hoboken, N.J.) 2015;67(8):2032-7

Myocardial infarction and occupational exposure to motor exhaust: a population-based case-control study in Sweden
Ilar A, Lewné M, Plato N, Hallqvist J, Alderling M, Bigert C, et al
European journal of epidemiology 2014;29(7):517-25

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