“Obesity does tend to cause mild increases in levels of inflammation, so physicians should recognize that very high levels of CRP or ESR are not likely to be due to obesity alone,” Dr. George said.
He added, “We do not yet understand exactly why underweight men with rheumatoid arthritis have the highest levels of inflammatory markers – we suspect that in these men severe inflammatory disease has led to weight loss. Why the same pattern was not seen in women, however, is unclear. Future studies can investigate whether inflammation may affect body composition differently in men and women.”
Dr. Bogdan Ion Gavrila from “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania, who recently reviewed biomarkers in RA, told Reuters Health by email, “Their conclusions are very interesting and may lead to new breakthroughs and approaches in managing patients with RA and to the role of personalized medicine for these patients.”
“The fact that no associations between obesity and inflammatory tests have been observed in male patients, but rather the opposite – smaller values of BMI were associated with greater CRP – puts in question the role and involvement of hormonal factors, which would necessitate further tests,” he said.