medwireNews: Overweight and obese patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have lower rates of sustained remission than their normal-weight counterparts, researchers report.
The CATCH (Canadian Early Arthritis Cohort) investigators, led by Vivian Bykerk (Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, USA), analyzed data from 982 early RA patients, two-thirds of whom were overweight (BMI 25–29.9 kg/m2) or obese (BMI ≥30 kg/m2), and found the obese participants had the lowest likelihood of achieving sustained remission over 3 years of follow-up.
In all, 45% of the normal-weight patients, 37% of those who were overweight, and 26% of obese participants achieved a Disease Activity Score at 28 joints (DAS28) score of less than 2.6 points over two consecutive clinic visits. After adjustment for factors including age, sex, comorbidities, and smoking, overweight and obese patients were a corresponding 25% and 47% less likely to be in sustained remission than those with a normal BMI.
“This is the largest study demonstrating the negative impact of excess weight on RA disease activity and supports a call to action to better identify and address this risk in RA patients,” write Bykerk and colleagues in Arthritis Care & Research.
And they conclude that “achieving and maintaining a healthy weight may offer an opportunity to improve how RA patients feel and function in the short- and long-term.”
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