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Excess Weight Has Negative Impact on RA

Arthritis Care Res; ePub 2017 Nov 30; Schulman, et al

Rates of overweight and obesity were high (69%) in an early rheumatoid arthritis (ERA) cohort, in a study, the largest of its kind, demonstrating the negative impact of excess weight on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease activity. Furthermore, overweight patients were 25%, and obese patients were 47% less likely to achieve sustained remission (sREM) in the first 3 years despite similar initial disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) treatment and subsequent biologic use. Data were from a multicenter observational trial of ERA patients treated by rheumatologists using guideline-based care. sREM was defined as Disease Activity Score (DAS28) <2.6 for 2 consecutive visits. Patients were stratified by body mass index (BMI) (healthy [18.5-24.9]; overweight [25-29.9]; and obese [≥30]). Researchers found:

  • Of 982 patients, 315 (32%) had a healthy BMI, 343 (35%) were overweight, and 324 (33%) were obese; 355 (36%) achieved sREM within 3 years.
  • Initial treatment did not differ by BMI category.
  • Compared to healthy BMI, overweight and obese patients were significantly less likely to achieve sREM.

Citation:

Schulman E, Bartlett SJ, Schieir O, et al. Overweight and obesity reduce the likelihood of achieving sustained remission in early rheumatoid arthritis: Results from the Canadian Early Arthritis Cohort Study. [Published online ahead of print November 30, 2017]. Arthritis Care Res. doi:10.1002/acr.23457.

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