17 May Rheumatoid Arthritis: Obesity Impairs Disease Control
MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?
Dr. Sandberg: Overweight at diagnosis significantly decreases the chance of achieving good disease control during the early phase of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
MedicalResearch: Were any of the findings unexpected?
Dr. Sandberg: In general this study confirmed our hypothesis but we have many more questions and intend to continue research along this line; this publication and another recent publication that we had in Annals of Rheumatic Disease on the effect of physical activity are both part of a larger research program that our group has designed to investigate the impact of lifestyle factors on the prognosis of rheumatoid arthritis.
MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Sandberg: I believe that the time has come for studies investigating if the effect we see in this and similar studies can be countered by voluntary decrease of fat mass after diagnosis, perhaps in a RCT. If that is the case, then I think these finding can have a great clinical impact, until then, maybe it can be helpful for patients at increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis or with early arthritis.
MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Sandberg: Apart from the clinical studies I suggest above I also believe that there is much more to be found regarding how lifestyle factors might affect the prognosis of rheumatoid arthritis. Our group will continue to investigate these questions and the EIRA material in combination with the Swedish Rheumatology Register gives us a great opportunity to do research that we hope, in the long run will empower patients to, by evidence-based life style choices, improve their disease.
Overweight decreases the chance of achieving good response and low disease activity in early rheumatoid arthritis
Maria E C Sandberg, Camilla Bengtsson, Henrik Källberg, Annmarie Wesley, Lars Klareskog, Lars Alfredsson, Saedis Saevarsdottir