Rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis or rheumatism are now the leading cause of disability in the United States. The etiology and pathogenesis are less understood and available treatment options are not always satisfactory. This dissertation measures the prevalence and cumulative incidence of rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis or rheumatism, and examines any associations with current and lifetime consumption of meat, poultry, and fish (meat) using the Adventist Health Study and the Adventist Mortality Study databases. From these databases, it was possible to reconstruct a prospective cohort, obtain self-reported information on demographic characteristics, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, other forms of arthritis or rheumatism, dietary pattern, and several health and health related variables. Descriptive statistics and unconditional direct logistic regression analyses were used to examine the cross-sectional and prospective associations of the different forms of arthritic conditions with baseline, current and lifetime consumption of meat adjusting for the confounding effects of increasing age, smoking, alcohol consumption, body mass index, use of contraceptive pills and parity.
The crude prevalence proportions of rheumatoid arthritis were 6.5 percent for women and 3.3 percent for men. For other forms of arthritis or rheumatism the crude prevalence proportions for women were 31.6 percent and for men 18.4 percent. The cumulative incidences for rheumatoid arthritis were 4.71 percent for women and 3.01 percent for men. The results indicate that greater consumption of meat one or more times per week compared to never are positively associated with higher prevalence and cumulative incidence of rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis or rheumatism, and the findings were similar in men and women. Greater consumption of meat only after the second decade of life as well as throughout lifetime were positively associated with higher prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis or rheumatism. The findings support the hypothesis that consumption of meat is a risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis or rheumatism. Recommendations are made for future investigation to test this hypothesis.
Epidemiology and Biostatistics
School of Public Health
Synnove M. F. Knusten
Gary E. Fraser
Edwin H. Krick
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Arthritis; Rheumatoid -- therapy; Arthritis -- diet therapy; Diet.
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Hailu, Asnake, "The Role of Meat, Poultry, and Fish Consumption in the Occurrence of Rheumatoid and Other Forms of Arthritis" (2003). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 1324.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives