Obesity in Women Linked to Early Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Women who are overweight or obese, particularly those who acquire the excess weight by late adolescence, have an elevated risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA), analysis of data from two prospective studies showed.

While there was a nonsignificant trend for increased risk for RA among all overweight or obese women (P=0.068), there was a 35% higher risk among those with body mass index (BMI) values of 25 or higher at age 18 (HR 1.35, 95% CI 1.11-1.64, P=0.002), according to Bing Lu, MD, DPH, and colleagues from Harvard University’s medical and public health schools in Boston.

In addition, the risk among those women for developing seropositive RA — generally considered more severe — increased by almost 50% (HR 1.49, 95% CI 1.08-2.06, P<0.001), the researchers reported online in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Obesity contributes to the development of multiple disease states, including osteoarthritis and diabetes, and the latest research shows obesity linked to arthritis in women.

“One pathway by which obesity may increase the risk of several diseases is via systemic inflammation. Adipose tissue secretes proinflammatory adipocyte-derived cytokines, or adipokines, into the circulation,” explained Lu and colleagues.

However, previous studies examining the relationship between obesity and RA have had conflicting results, and the researchers suggested that risk factors may differ according to age at disease onset.

“Given the recent rapid increase in the prevalence of obesity, this risk factor appears to have a significant impact on the incidence of RA and may account for a large proportion of the recent increase in incidence of RA among women,”

Adipocytes can produce inflammatory markers such as tumor necrosis factor, interleukin-6, and C-reactive protein, which have been detected in iniduals with preclinical disease.


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OCC’s epidemiologist is closely monitoring the COVID-19 status and is actively issuing updates as they are available. The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization are the most trusted sources online.  While the CDC has announced new mask protocols for vaccinated individuals, there will be no changes for our office protocols for patients, guests, and staff members as the announcement does not apply to hospitals or medical facilities. Masks are still a requirement for all patients, guests and staff at our facility.

As we reinitiate weight loss surgery, we are constantly adapting and installing new and updated safety measures.

Weight loss surgery is medically necessary.

Bariatric Surgery and the clash of two pandemics.   

Major metabolic and bariatric surgery Societies and colleges globally are now calling for the safe resumption of bariatric and metabolic surgery before the COVID-19 pandemic is declared over. 

The sooner bariatric surgery can be safely performed, the quicker obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other diseases can be reduced or resolved as they are not only chronic they are also progressive.  Obesity is also linked to more than 40 diseases including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and at least 13 different types of cancer.

A recent statement from the ASMBS says “Before COVID-19 began, it was clear that patients with obesity were ‘safer through surgery.’ In the era of COVID-19, ‘safer through surgery’ for patients with obesity may prove to be even more important than before.” Obesity and Metabolic syndrome have been identified as an independent risk factor for adverse outcomes including death among COVID-19 patients.

See here for full COVID-19 update. 

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