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Exercise Linked with Protective CV Risk in RA

J Clin Rheumatol; 2018 ePub May 25; Byram, et al

More self-reported exercise in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was associated with a protective cardiovascular (CV) risk factor profile, including lower waist-hip ratio, higher HDL particle concentration, lower vascular stiffness, and a lower prevalence of hypertension, according to a recent, cross-sectional study. Patient-reported exercise outside of daily activities was quantified by time and metabolic equivalents per week (METmin/week) and CV risk factors including blood pressure, standard lipid profiles, lipoprotein particle concentrations (NMR spectroscopy), and vascular indices were measured in 165 patients with RA. Researchers found:

  • Over half (54%) of RA patients did not exercise.
  • Among those who did exercise, median value for exercise duration was 113 min/week, and exercise metabolic equivalent expenditure was 484 METmin/week.
  • Disease activity (measured by DAS28 score), C-reactive protein, waist-hip ratio, and prevalence of hypertension were lower in patients who exercised compared to those who did not but standard lipid profile and body mass index were not significantly different.
  • Patients who exercised had significantly higher concentrations of HDL particles and lower vascular stiffness as measured by pulse wave velocity.

Byram K, Oeser A, MacRae L, Fazio S, Stein MC, Ormseth MJ. Exercise is associated with increased small HDL particle concentration and decreased vascular stiffness in rheumatoid arthritis. [Published online ahead of print May 25, 2018]. J Clin Rheumatol. doi:10.1097/RHU.0000000000000809.