Healthy weight means more likely to reach remission in rheumatoid arthritis – research findings

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weight, remission, obese, rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis digestPeople who are overweight or obese are less likely to achieve positive responses to early treatment for rheumatoid arthritis says US research.

The team looked at the potential impact of weight on the likelihood that 982 people would achieve remission in the early years after a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis. Around one-third of the participants were a healthy weight, one-third were overweight and one-third were obese.

Within three years, 36% of the participants were in remission.

Compared to those with a healthy body mass index:

  • People who were overweight were 25% less likely to experience remission;
  • People who were obese were 47% less likely to experience remission.

The results show there is a need for better weight management in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

“Our findings highlight the high proportion of newly diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis patients who are overweight or obese and who may have disease that is harder to treat,” says Dr Susan Goodman, who is involved in the work. “For people with rheumatoid arthritis who haven’t had an adequate response to treatment, this may be another factor to consider.”

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