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Weight Loss Linked to RA Improvement

Jan 19, 2018 3:00 am

By retrospectively reviewing electronic health record (EHR) data, Kreps et al found that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients who lost >5 kg of weight were three times more likely to demonstrate improvement in disease activity.

Researchers investigated the association between weight loss and CDAI change among patients who were overweight/obese at baseline and who lost weight during follow-up.

A single center retrospective cohort study of 174 RA patients seen between 2012-2015 reviewed EHR data to correlate the clinical disease activity index (CDAI) and weight loss. For this analysis they defined disease activity improvement as CDAI decrease of ≥5 and clinically relevant weight loss as ≥5 kg.

At baseline, 117 (67%) RA patients were overweight/obese at baseline, and 53 (31%) lost ≥5 kg during nearly 2 years of follow-up.

Overweight/obese patients who lost ≥5 kg had three-fold increased odds of disease activity improvement compared to those who did not (OR 3.03, 95%CI 1.18-7.83).

For each kilogram weight loss, the CDAI improved by 1.15.

These real world RA patients showed that weight loss (≥5 kg) was clinically relevant as demonstrated by an associated improvement in RA disease activity. 

Weight loss may lead to increased fitness, decreased adipokines or improved responses to DMARD therapy. Physician counseling on diet and at least a 5 kg weight loss in routine practice may yield tangible clinical benefits.



The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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