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RA Research Briefs: Lung Disease, Remission, Children of RA Patients

Keep up-to-date on the latest rheumatoid arthritis (RA) research with our brief research summaries.

Lung Disease More Likely with RA

Rheumatoid arthritis may increase the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an inflammatory lung disease that makes breathing difficult, a new study shows. A Canadian study, which analyzed data from 24,265 patients with RA and 25,396 controls, found that people with RA had a 47% greater risk of being hospitalized for COPD than members of the general population.

SOURCE: Arthritis Care & Research, published online October, 2017

Remission Less Likely in Overweight, Obese Patients

A multicenter observational study found that in the first 3 years of treatment for RA, patients who were overweight were 25% less likely to achieve sustained remission compared to patients who were at a healthy weight. And obese patients were 47% less likely to achieve sustained remission. All 982 patients (315 healthy weight, 343 overweight and 324 obese) were treated by rheumatolo­gists using guideline-based care. The researchers believe their study – the largest to show the negative impact of excess weight on RA disease activity – supports a “call to action” to address the problem for people with RA.

SOURCE: Arthritis Care & Research, published online November, 2017

Increased RA Risk

Children of women with RA have a heightened risk for certain chronic diseases according to a new Danish study. Researchers analyzed data for children born in Denmark from 1989 to 2013, comparing 2,106 children of women with RA and 1,378,539 children of women without RA. The risk of thyroid disease, epilepsy and RA in childhood and adolescence increased when the mother had an RA diagnosis before pregnancy.

SOURCE: Arthritis Care & Research, published online December, 2017

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