Overweight? Your Arthritis Treatment May Not Work

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New research is shedding light on the potential effects of weight on the health of people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A study published in Arthritis Care & Research examined how overweight and obesity affects the likelihood of remission in early RA, while another, published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, focused on weight gain and weight loss in early RA and its subsequent effect on death risk.

Previous research had suggested that weight can affect RA treatment. For the Arthritis Care & Research study, researchers at the Hospital for Special Surgery and Weill Cornell Medical School in New York examined data from the Canadian Early Arthritis Cohort – an observational trial of patients with early RA who were treated using guideline-based care – to determine the impact of weight on RA remission in the years following diagnosis.

This study involved 982 people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis; 32 percent had a body mass index (BMI) in the normal range, 35 percent were overweight, and 33 percent were obese. During the three-year study period, 36 percent of the participants experienced sustained remission. According to researchers, overweight people were 25 percent less likely and obese people 47 percent less likely to experience sustained remission than people with a normal BMI.

Sourced from: Arthritis Care & Research