-- Robert Preidt
SATURDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight and obese women
are at increased risk for rheumatoid arthritis, a new study
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes pain,
swelling, stiffness and loss of function in the joints, and can
also affect other body organs. About 1.3 million Americans have the
disease, which occurs in women twice as often as in men.
For the new study, researchers analyzed data from more than
238,000 U.S. women who took part in the large, long-running
investigation of women's health known as the Nurses' Health Study
(women aged 30 to 55) and the Nurses' Health Study II (women aged
25 to 42).
The women provided information about their lifestyle and health
habits and their body mass index (BMI), a measurement based on
height and weight. The analysis of the data was adjusted for
factors such as age, tobacco and alcohol use, breast-feeding, birth
control pill use, menopausal status and postmenopausal hormone
Compared to normal-weight women, overweight and obese women were
more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, according to lead
investigator Dr. Bing Lu, a researcher at Brigham and Women's
Hospital in Boston, and colleagues.
For overweight women (those with a BMI of 25 to 29.9), the risk
was 19 percent higher in the first study and 78 percent higher in
the second study. For obese women (those with a BMI over 30), the
risk was 18 percent higher in the first study and 73 percent higher
in the second study, the investigators found.
Previous studies have suggested a link between excess weight and
rheumatoid arthritis risk, but the evidence was conflicting, so the
study authors sought to learn more about the relationship between
weight and the painful disease, according to background information
in a news release from the American College of Rheumatology.
While the study found an association between overweight and
rheumatoid arthritis risk, it did not prove cause-and-effect.
The study findings are scheduled for presentation Monday at the
annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in
The data and conclusions of research presented at medical
meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a
The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and
Skin Diseases has more about
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Information Services. All rights reserved.