Excess weight may be a risk for rheumatoid arthritis in women

  • Ohno T & al.
  • Sci Rep
  • 29 Sep 2020

  • curated by Sarfaroj Khan
  • UK Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Higher body mass index (BMI) in middle age, BMI in early adulthood and waist circumference were associated with an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
  • The positive association between BMI in middle age and RA was restricted to women.

Why this matters

  • Findings suggest that prevention strategies targeting weight reduction and maintenance of a healthy weight may reduce the burden of RA.

Study design

  • 13 cohort studies met eligibility criteria after a search across PubMed and Embase databases.
  • Random effects models were used to estimate summary relative risk (RR) for RA in relation to different measures of adiposity.
  • Funding: None disclosed.

Key results

  • The summary RR per 5 kg/m2 increase in BMI was 1.11 (95% CI, 1.05-1.18; I2, 50%).
  • In subgroup analyses, a positive association was seen between BMI in middle age and RA in women (RR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.08-1.21) but not in men (RR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.73-1.09; I2, 58%).
  • The summary RR per 5 kg/m2 increase in BMI in early adulthood (at age 18 years) and per 10 cm increase in waist circumference was 1.17 (95% CI, 1.01-1.36) and 1.13 (95% CI, 1.02-1.25), respectively.

Limitations

  • Heterogeneity among included studies.
  • Some studies included self-reported anthropometric measurements.