UK Biobank data links waist circumference to autoimmune conditions

  • Ferguson LD & al.
  • Rheumatology (Oxford)
  • 25 May 2019

  • curated by Dawn O'Shea
  • UK Medical News
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

Waist circumference is associated with an increased risk for psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), even after general adiposity, according to an analysis of UK Biobank data.

The cross-sectional study included data from 502,417 participants, of whom 5074 (1.02%) had psoriasis, 905 (0.18%) had PsA (0.18%) and 5532 (1.11%) had RA.

After adjustment for age, sex, smoking status, socioeconomic deprivation and self-reported physical activity (Model 1), odds ratios (ORs) for psoriasis, PsA and RA per s.d. (13.5 cm) higher waist circumference were 1.20 (95% CI, 1.16-1.23), 1.30 (95% CI, 1.21-1.39) and 1.21 (95% CI, 1.17-1.24), respectively (all P<.001>

After further adjustment for BMI (Model 2), ORs remained significant in psoriasis (OR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.12-1.27; P<.001 and ra ci p not in psa>

This is the largest study to data to examine the role of central adiposity in psoriasis, PsA and RA occurrence compared with controls in a large population-based data set. The authors say, given established links of central adiposity to adverse cardiometabolic outcomes, a better understanding of the link between altered body composition and risk for autoimmune conditions is needed. They add that the potential for autoimmune processes to lead to altered body composition should also be borne in mind.

“Either way, our findings add stronger support for central adiposity as a relevant player in the long-term complications of these conditions. They also suggest a need to consider more trials of weight loss interventions in autoimmune conditions, especially as the evidence base for lifestyle-induced weight loss has substantially improved in recent years,” they say.