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Chances of Developing RA Do Not Increase With Routine Vaccinations

Receiving routine vaccinations does not increase the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to the results of a study published by the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.

Receiving routine vaccinations does not increase the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to the results of a study published by the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.

The study included more than 4,000 adults, half of which were between the ages of 18 to 70 with confirmed RA and the other half consisting of randomized health adults.

According to the press release, “routine jabs for conditions such as flu and tetanus are often blamed for priming the body’s immune system to turn on itself and trigger the development of long term inflammatory conditions.”

The Swedish team of researchers examined vaccination histories of the all the participants in the study. The goal was to determine whether there were any differences between those receiving the routine vaccinations within five years of the manifestation of RA symptoms and those who did not develop the condition.

The vaccinations included in the study were for the flu, tetanus, diphtheria, tick borne encephalitis, hepatitis A, B, and C, polio and pneumococcus. A blood sample was also taken to check for a genotype that increases the risk for developing RA.

The results of the study demonstrated that there were no differences observed between the two groups for any of the vaccinations given and the cumulative number given seemed to have no effect on the likelihood of developing RA>

"This result does not rule out the possibility that vaccinations given earlier in life, or vaccinations that are rare, may trigger the development of RA," said the authors, according to a press release. "It is unlikely that vaccinations in general should be considered a major risk factor for RA."