ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Soccer's a Winner for Building Bone Health in Girls
CANCER
Smokeout '08: The Perfect Time to Quit
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Green Tea Compound Slowed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
CAREGIVING
Diabetes Epidemic Now Poses Challenges for Nursing Homes
Coordination Has Led to Quicker Heart Treatment
Hospital Practices Influence Which Moms Will Breast-Feed
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
DIABETES
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
DIET, NUTRITION
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
Six Healthy-Sounding Foods That Really Aren't
TV Food Ads Promote Bad Diets
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pregnant Rural Women More at Risk
Smog Standards Need Tightening, Activists Say
As Earth Warms, Lyme Disease Could Flourish
EYE CARE, VISION
Thyroid Problems Boost Glaucoma Risk
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
Certain Diabetes Drugs May Pose Eye Risk
FITNESS
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
Barefoot Best for Running?
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
A Honey of a Sinusitis Treatment
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
Scary Toxins Make Halloween Face Paints Questionable
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
MENTAL HEALTH
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
SENIORS
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
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Breast-feeding Might Shield Women From Rheumatoid Arthritis

TUESDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Women who breast feed for more than one year reduce their risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by half, according to a new Swedish study.

The researchers also found that having children but not breast-feeding offered women no protection against the disease.

Taking oral contraceptives also failed to reduce the risk of RA. It's been suspected that oral contraceptives offer protection against the disease because they contain hormones that are elevated during pregnancy.

The Malmo University Hospital study included 136 women with rheumatoid arthritis and 544 women without the disease. Women who breast-fed for 13 months or more were half as likely to get RA as those who never breast-fed. Women who had breast-fed for one to 12 months were 25 percent less likely to get the disease than those who never breast-fed.

Over the past 30 years, the number of women breast-feeding for more than six months has increased dramatically, the researchers noted. They said it's difficult to say whether there's a link between higher rates of breast-feeding and a corresponding decline in the number of women with rheumatoid arthritis.

However, the results of this study offer yet another reason why women should breast-feed their babies, the researchers concluded.

The study findings were published online May 13 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease, characterized by inflammation of the lining -- or synovium -- of the joints. It can lead to long-term joint damage, resulting in chronic pain, loss of function and disability, according to the Arthritis Association.

More information

The Arthritis Foundation has more about rheumatoid arthritis.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: BMJ Specialist Journals, news release, May 13, 2008

Last Updated: May 13, 2008

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