SAN DIEGO — People with rheumatoid arthritis and obesity had lower rates of remission and higher rates of disability, according to data presented at a press conference at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting.
“There is growing recognition that the inflammatory states mediated by obesity and those by inflammatory rheumatic diseases share common pathways. Some have suggested that in fact, obesity is a low-grade chronic inflammatory condition.” Elena Nikiphorou, MD, a researcher in the rheumatology department at King’s College, London, said in a press release.
Nikiphorou and colleagues used data from two consecutive, multicenter RA inception cohorts (Early RA Study, n = 1,465; Early RA Network, n = 1,236) from the United Kingdom to study the associations between BMI and disease activity status (DAS). Mean baseline BMI was 25.5 kg/m2 in one cohort and 27.6 kg/m2 in the other. At baseline, 37.2% of participants were overweight and 21.3% were obese.
High BMI was associated with lower rates of participants achieving remission DAS (OR = 0.97) and low DAS after adjustments. However, the relationship with low DAS did not reach statistical significance (OR = 0.98). Obesity significantly reduced rates of achieving remission DAS (OR = 0.71).
Higher BMI was associated with an increased risk of disability (OR = 1.04), and obesity increased risk of disability by 63% (OR = 1.63). After adjustment, higher DAS was predictive of higher disability (OR = 3.67).
“Obesity is potentially a reversible comorbidity and successfully treating it can contribute to better disease activity and functional outcomes,” Nikiphorou said in the release. “Based on our data, there is a strong argument to include obesity screening and management as a central part of all treatment plans for RA patients.” − by Cassie Homer
Nikiphorou E, et al. Abstract 2372. Presented at: American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting; Nov. 4-8, 2017; San Diego.
Disclosure: Nikiphorou reports no relevant financial disclosures.