Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: This study assessed the suggested association between pregnancy-associated hypertensive disorders, hyperemesis and subsequent risk of RA using a cohort with information about pre-pregnancy health. METHODS: Self-reported information on pre-pregnancy health, pregnancy course, gestational hypertension, pre-eclampsia and hyperemesis was available from 55 752 pregnant women included in the Danish National Birth Cohort. Information about pregnancy-related factors and lifestyle was obtained by interviews twice during pregnancy and at 6 months post-partum. Women were followed for RA hospitalizations identified in the Danish National Patient Register. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs were calculated using Cox proportional hazards models. Women with RA and non-specific musculoskeletal problems at the time of pregnancy were excluded. RESULTS: On average, women were followed for 11 years after childbirth and 169 cases of RA were identified. The risk of RA was increased in women with pre-eclampsia (n = 11, HR = 1.96, 95% CI 1.06, 3.63), a poor self-rated pregnancy course (n = 32, HR = 1.63, 95% CI 1.11, 2.39) and fair or poor self-rated pre-pregnancy health (fair health: n = 86, HR = 1.52, 95% CI 1.11, 2.09; poor health: n = 14, HR = 3.24, 95% CI 1.82, 5.76). Hyperemesis was not associated with risk of RA. CONCLUSION: We confirmed the previously suggested increased risk of RA in women with pre-eclampsia and also found an inverse association between self-rated pre-pregnancy health and risk of RA. These results suggest that the clinical onset of RA is preceded by a prolonged subclinical phase that may interfere with women's general well-being and pregnancy course or that some women carry a shared predisposition to pre-eclampsia and RA.

Original publication




Journal article


Rheumatology (Oxford)

Publication Date





1513 - 1519


pre-eclampsia, pregnancy, rheumatoid arthritis, self-rated health, Adult, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Cohort Studies, Denmark, Female, Health Status, Humans, Incidence, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications, Risk, Self Report, Young Adult