Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, systemic inflammatory, and debilitating autoimmune illness. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between animal flesh foods consumption and rheumatoid arthritis. Methods: Meat consumption was assessed by using a semi-quantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire (168 items) in a case-control study of 297 subjects (100 newly diagnosed cases and 197 healthy controls). An expert rheumatologist diagnosed patients based on the American College of Rheumatology definitions, 2010. Multivariate logistic regression, adjusted for lifestyle and nutritional confounders, was used to evaluate the relationship between dairy consumption and rheumatoid arthritis. Results: Participants with greater consumption of fish and seafood were less likely to have RA (OR 0.52; 95% CI 0.27–0.98). Conversely, a higher processed meat intake was associated with increased odds of RA (OR 3.45; 95% CI 1.78–6.68). However, no significant association was found between red meats and poultry consumption and the risk of RA in the fully adjusted model. Conclusions: The present study suggests an inverse association between fish and seafood consumption and the risk of RA. On the contrary, a higher amount of processed meat intake was associated with increased odds of RA. However, further studies are warranted to confirm the veracity of our findings.
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- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Animal flesh foods