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18-07-2018 | Rheumatoid arthritis | News

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Obesity, body fat percentage linked to RA risk in women

medwireNews: Higher BMI, waist circumference, and body fat percentage are all associated with a significantly increased risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) among women, researchers report.

Asta Linauskas (Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark) and colleagues analyzed data from 55,037 participants of the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health study, 666 of whom developed RA over a median follow-up of approximately 20 years.

They found that among women, the overall risk for RA was 8% higher for each 5% increase in total body fat, 5% higher for each 5 cm increase in waist circumference, and 40% higher among those with a BMI categorized as obese (≥30 kg/m2) compared with healthy (18.5–24.99 kg/m2) after adjustment for factors including age, smoking, and physical activity.

These findings suggest that “excess total body fat volume per se rather than abdominal obesity is associated with RA risk” among women, write Linauskas and colleagues in Arthritis Care & Research.

However, the researchers demonstrated “no clear association” of anthropometric measures with the risk for overall RA among men, and with the development of seropositive RA among either men or women.

By Claire Barnard

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2018 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group

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