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Oral contraceptives, rheumatoid arthritis, and androgens
  1. W H James
  1. The Galton Laboratory, University College London, Wolfson House, 4 Stephenson Way, London NW 1 2 HE, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr James

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In 1993 I reviewed the evidence that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is more common in women than men; that remissions commonly occur in pregnancy; and that relapses commonly occur post partum.1 These features suggested involvement of the sex hormones, and in view of the lack of persuasive evidence relating high oestrogen levels to RA, I suggested that one cause might be low androgen levels. Cross sectional studies relating oral contraceptives (OCs) to RA (despite large numbers of cases and carefully selected controls) had …

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