Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Women's Health

Font Size

Household Chemicals Linked to Arthritis in Women

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Alan Mozes

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- In what researchers are calling a first, a new analysis suggests that the greater a woman's exposure to a type of common chemical compound called PFCs, the greater her risk for developing osteoarthritis.

Researchers did not find a similar risk among men regarding these chemicals, which are now found in everything from nonstick cookware to take-out containers and carpeting.

Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, causes pain and stiffness and involves degeneration of the cartilage in the joints.

And the study authors stressed that while their investigation identified a robust link between osteoarthritis and exposure to two specific PFC chemicals -- known as PFOA and PFOS -- for now the finding can only be described as an association, rather than a cause-and-effect relationship.

"But we did find a clear and strong association between exposure to [these] compounds and osteoarthritis, which is a very painful chronic disease," said study lead author Sarah Uhl, who conducted the study while working as a researcher at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in New Haven, Conn.

"This adds to the body of information that we have suggesting that these highly persistent synthetic chemicals are of concern when it comes to the public health," she said.

The new study appears in the Feb. 14 online issue of Environmental Health Perspectives.

Uhl noted that exposure to PFCs is nearly universal, given their inclusion in a vast array of products to enable (among other things) the grease-proofing of food packaging, waterproofing of rain gear, and textile stain protection.

Previous research has linked PFC exposure to a higher risk for the premature onset of menopause in women, higher levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol in men and women, and reduced effectiveness of routine vaccinations among children.

To explore a potential PFC-osteoarthritis connection, the authors looked at PFOA and PFOS exposure data collected between 2003 and 2008 by the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The analysis covered more than 4,000 men and women between the ages of 20 and 84 for whom osteoarthritis status information was available.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Test your knowledge.
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
birth control pills
Learn about your options.
Is it menopause or something else?
woman in bathtub
bp app on smartwatch and phone
estrogen gene

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Blood pressure check
hot water bottle on stomach
Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror