In women, higher body fat percentage, higher waist circumference (WC), and obesity were associated with higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a recent study found. Researchers evaluated a population‐based prospective cohort study among 55,037 persons. Baseline data included anthropometric measures and lifestyle factors. The relationships between bioimpedance‐derived body fat percentage, WC, body mass index (BMI), and incident RA were assessed using Cox proportional hazards regression models, stratifying by gender. All analyses were performed for overall RA and the serological subtypes: seropositive RA and other RA. They found:
- A total of 210 men (37.6% seropositive RA) and 456 women (41.0% seropositive RA) developed RA during a median follow‐up of 20.1 years.
- In women, overall RA risk was 10% higher for each 5% increment of total body fat (hazard ratio [HR] 1.10), 5% higher for each 5cm increment of WC (HR 1.05) and nearly 50% higher in those with an obese compared to normal BMI (HR 1.46).
- These positive associations were also found for “other RA.”
- In men, there were no clear associations between body fat percentage, WC, or BMI, and RA.
Linauskas A, Overvad K, Symmons D, Johansen MB, Stengaard K-Pedersen K, de Thurah A. Body fat percentage, waist circumference and obesity as risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis – A Danish cohort study. [Published online ahead of print July 5, 2018]. Arthritis Care Res. doi:10.1002/acr.23694.
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