Introduction Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory joint disease with multifactorial aetiology. Smoking is a well-established lifestyle risk factor, but diet may also have an impact on the risk of RA. Intake of the major marine n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in particular eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have been hypothesised to lower the risk of RA due to their anti-inflammatory effects, although based on limited knowledge. Therefore, we aim to investigate the associations between dietary intake of EPA and DHA and the risk of incident RA. Methods and analysis A cohort study. The follow-up design will be based on data from the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort, which was established between 1993 and 1997. The participants will be followed through record linkage using nationwide registers including the Danish Civil Registration System, the Danish National Patient Registry and the Danish National Prescription Registry using the unique Civil Personal Registration number. Time-to-event analyses will be conducted with RA as the outcome of interest. The participants will be followed from inclusion until date of RA diagnosis, death, emigration or end of follow-up. HRs with 95% CIs obtained using Cox proportional hazard regression models, with age as underlying time scale and adjustment for established and potential risk factors, will be used as measures of association. Ethics and dissemination The study has been approved by the Data Protection Committee of Northern Jutland, Denmark (2019-87) and the North Denmark Region Committee on Health Research Ethics (N-20190031). Study results will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journals and presentations at international conferences.
Bibliographical note© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.
- nutrition & dietetics