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HHS HealthBeat (August 31, 2012)

Women, obesity, and rheumatoid arthritis

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Obesity is bad in lots of ways – among them, it raises the risk of diabetes and heart disease. And Mayo Clinic researchers have linked obesity with rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers saw this when they compared data on 813 people with rheumatoid arthritis and 813 others without it. In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks primarily joint tissue, creating inflammation.

Researcher Eric Matteson says the link was seen in women:

“What we discovered was that being overweight actually appears to be a risk factor for developing rheumatoid arthritis.”

The study in the journal Arthritis Care and Research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: August 30, 2012