Previous research on this subject
Previous research has been done on this subject, but the findings have been problematic. There are studies that have shown breast feeding to reduce the risk of RA, but there are also studies that say that it increases the chance of developing RA. There has also never been a demonstration of a concrete link between taking contraceptives and reducing the risk of RA. Lastly, researchers noted that very few of these studies used blood markers to identify RA, one of the most accurate ways of determining if one has the disease (this is often called seropositivity). Researchers look specifically for one blood marker called anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPAs). 90 percent of those suffering from RA have this blood marker, so researchers were confident that it could be used to accurately predict a higher risk of RA most of the time.