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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease with both environmental and genetic determinants.1 Shift work, defined here as working outside regular day shifts, has been found to induce changes in the biomarkers of systemic inflammation such as leucocyte count2 3 and T cell responses.4 5 We examined whether shift work also predicts development of RA.
Participants were drawn from the Finnish Public Sector Study,6 a prospective cohort study of 70 376 local government employees who responded to a survey in 1997–2004. We excluded those who had a history of RA at baseline (n=939) or had missing data on age, sex, or self-reported work schedule (n=2035), leaving …
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