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Breathing in fumes from cars and factories on a daily basis could increase people’s chances of developing arthritis by 40 percent, say scientists.
They also face higher odds of having other autoimmune conditions such as inflammatory bowel diseases. The number of people affected by these conditions has climbed over the past decade.
The findings by a team at Italy’s University of Verona were published in the BMJ journal RMD Open.
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Study author Dr Giovanni Adami said: “Air pollution has already been linked to immune system abnormalities, and smoking, which shares some toxins with fossil fuel emissions, is a predisposing factor for rheumatoid arthritis.”
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