Although compelling, no clear-cut links between dietary factors and the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have been confirmed. Recent investigations have implicated increased consumption of red meat as a risk factor for incident inflammatory arthritis.
The molecular mechanisms leading to erosive joint damage in some, but not all, patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are incompletely understood. Downstream effects of inflammatory cytokines produced by rheumatoid synovium include the induction of RANKL, a powerful osteoclast activator, the action of which is physiologically opposed by its naturally occurring antagonist osteoprotegerin (OPG).
Hematologic malignancies, particularly lymphomas, are more prevalent in RA patients. Case reports have suggested an association between RA therapeutics and the development of lymphoma, although it has been problematic using conventional epidemiologic methods to disassociate the potential for the RA disease process, presumably mediated through chronic systemic inflammation, to contribute to this risk. These concerns have limited the use of RA therapies in some patients.