(Reuters Health)—Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may be more likely to become disabled if they’re obese, a U.S. study suggests.
Researchers examined data on more than 25,000 patients with RA. Most were overweight or obese when they joined the study. Those who were severely obese were more likely to report some disability at baseline.
Worsening disability “was not explained by worse disease activity,” says lead study author Joshua Baker, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. “This suggests that obesity causes disability in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and provides yet another reason for patients to try to take off a few pounds.”