According to news reporting originating from Rochester, Minnesota, by NewsRx correspondents, "Obesity is an underrecognized risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In recent years, both the prevalence of obesity and the incidence of RA have been rising."
Our news editors obtained a quote from the research from Mayo Clinic, "Our objective was to determine whether the 'obesity epidemic' could explain the recent rise in the incidence of RA. An inception cohort of Olmsted County, Minnesota residents who fulfilled the 1987 American College of Rheumatology criteria for RA in 1980-2007 was compared to population-based controls (matched on age, sex, and calendar year). Heights, weights, and smoking statuses were collected from medical records.
The study included 813 patients with RA and 813 controls. Both groups had extensive medical history available prior to the incidence/index date (mean 32.2 years), and ~30% of each group was obese at the incidence/index date.
The history of obesity was significantly associated with developing RA. In 1985-2007, the incidence of RA rose by an increment of 9.2 per 100,000 among women. Obesity accounted for 4.8 per 100,000 (52%) of this increase. Obesity is associated with a modest risk for developing RA."
According to the news editors, the research concluded: "Given the rapidly increasing prevalence of obesity, this has had a significant impact on RA incidence and may account for much of the recent increase in the incidence of RA."