Long-Term Dietary Changes after Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis in Swedish Women: Data from a Population-Based Cohort

Int J Rheumatol. 2018 Jun 11:2018:9152480. doi: 10.1155/2018/9152480. eCollection 2018.


Objective: To investigate long-term dietary changes after rheumatoid arthritis (RA) diagnosis in Swedish women, compared to women without RA.

Methods: This study included 21,602 women from the Swedish Mammography Cohort (SMC), who completed dietary questionnaires in 1997 and 2009. Between 1997 and 2009, 191 women were diagnosed with RA. Dietary changes after RA diagnosis were analyzed based on intake of 82 food items. Statistical analysis included linear mixed models.

Results: Women with RA, compared to women without RA, had significantly lower intake (mean servings per week) of animal products such as black pudding, egg, kidney, and liver paste (2.94±2.73 versus 2.45±1.82, p=0.010) and dairy products (35.14±20.02 versus 28.42±16.10, p=0.040) in 1997 and of cereals and grains (31.01±15.54 versus 28.00±14.98, p=0.009) in 2009. However, multivariable adjusted changes in dietary intake from 1997 to 2009 did not show any significant difference in intake. Nevertheless, women without RA increased their intake of whole wheat bread, wheat/oat bran, and rice more than women with RA.

Conclusion: Women who had been diagnosed with RA had similar dietary patterns over time as the general population; these women did not remarkably change their diet over time due to their disease. Dietary recommendations for RA patients are needed.