NEW YORK (Reuters Health)—Obesity in women and current smoking in men appear to be the strongest predictors of lack of remission in early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) within one year, according to new research presented June 13 at EULAR 2018, the annual meeting of the European League Against Rheumatism, in Amsterdam.1
Even though early identification and aggressive treatment of RA improves outcomes, 46% of women and 38% of men with early RA who received guideline-based care did not reach remission within one year, the authors wrote in their abstract.
“There has never been a better time to have RA, as effective treatments are available that enable people to remain independent and continue to live full meaningful lives. For example, an athlete in the 2018 Winter Olympics, snowboarder Spencer O’Brien, has RA,” lead author Dr. Susan J. Bartlett of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and McGill University, Montreal, Canada, tells Reuters Health.
“The goal of treatment is to bring RA inflammation under remission quickly. Unfortunately, evidence suggests that up to 40% of people with newly diagnosed RA continue to have active disease one year later,” Dr. Bartlett, who presented the study, says by email.