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High BMI Associated with Psoriatic Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Three studies presented this weekend at EULAR in Madrid suggest that being overweight or obese can heighten the severity or arthritic disease.

Three studies presented this weekend at the European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR) annual meeting in Madrid suggest that being overweight or obese can heighten the severity or arthritic disease.

In a study assessing data from the PsABio observational study, researchers found that having a high body mass index (BMI) is independently associated with psoriatic arthritis disease activity, patient-perceived disease impact and disability..

“Our results highlight the impact of obesity and need for lifestyle-directed approaches to manage weight in psoriatic arthritis in parallel to joint and skin focused treatments,” said Stefan Siebert, M.D., of the University of Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Although psoriatic arthritis has long been associated with obesity and being overweight, few studies have examined the relationship between weight and disease activity in psoriatic arthritis.

“There is growing evidence describing how fat tissue acts as an active organ involved in metabolic and inflammatory disorders,” said John D. Isaacs, M.D., chairman of the abstract selection committee for EULAR. “Furthermore, with fixed-dose drug regimens, as with self-injected biologics, obesity can reduce efficacy for pharmacokinetic reasons.”

This study included 917 patients from eight European countries. The disease activity measure cDAPSA (range 0-154) was 33.4 vs. 27.7, patient-perceived disease impact measure PsAID-12 (range 0-10) was 6.3 vs. 5.3, and disability measure HAQ-DI (range 0-3) was 1.36 vs. 1.03, respectively.


A second study found that by high levels of adiponectin, a type of adipokine, are high in some patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The study suggested that adiponectin could predict disease onset.

“Early detection and management of rheumatoid arthritis is very important to improve disease outcomes in patients,” said Cristina Maglio, M.D., Ph.D., University of Gothenburg, Sweden. “Our analysis suggests that serum adiponectin in overweight patients might have a role as a biomarker for early rheumatoid arthritis.”

The analysis included two studies:  The first included nearly 400 patients in which a 10 percent increase in developing rheumatoid arthritis was evident in those with raised levels. A second study identified a 20 percent increased level of rheumatoid arthritis disease risk in patients with a BMI over 25.4.


Abstract numbers: OP0007, THU0061