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Canadian Study Links Parental Addictions To Adulthood Arthritis

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Some adults suffering from arthritis may have their parents to blame, more specifically their alcohol or drug addictions. This has been indicated by the findings of a Canadian study, which showed that parental addictions significantly increase the risk of arthritis for the offspring.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Toronto, whose investigation involved 13,036 adults. Among those, 20.4% had an arthritis diagnosis made by a medical professional. The research team established that 14.5% of the subjects had at least one parent with an alcohol or drug addiction, which led to problems while the study participants lived at home.

When the results were adjusted for age, sex and race, the researchers estimated that parental addictions increased the likelihood of arthritis in adult offspring by 58%, lead report author Esme Fuller-Thomson said. Study co-author Jessica Liddycoat added that the link remained strong even when the subjects´ own behaviours were taken into consideration. These included smoking, drinking and obesity, all of which increase the risk of developing arthritis. The researchers made adjustments for such behaviours, as well as factors like income, education, anxiety disorders and a history of childhood abuse. Even then, parental addictions remained a statistically significant factor, lifting the risk of arthritis by 30%, Liddycoat said.

However, the Canadian researchers believe there is a need for future prospective studies. As they explain, their data was collected by means of a survey and this makes it impossible to firmly establish a direct link between adulthood arthritis and parental addictions.