Prevalence of overweight in Moroccan patients with rheumatoid arthritis and its relationships with disease features
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We aimed to estimate the prevalence of overweight in Moroccan patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and its relationships with disease activity, functional disability, structural damage, and immunological status. Two hundred fifty patients with RA were consecutively included. Patients’ characteristics were specified. The following data were collected: age, disease duration, disease activity (evaluated with physical examination data, biological tests (erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein), and the disease activity score (DAS28)), radiographic changes (assessed by the Sharp’s method), functional disability (assessed by using the Health Assessment Questionnaire), extra-articular manifestations, immunological status, and treatment details. Overweight was defined according to the body mass index (BMI) values: underweight, <18.5; normal weight, 18.5–24.9; overweight, 25–29.9; and obesity, ≥30. The mean age of patients was 46.31 ± 12.64 years. The mean disease duration was 9.46 ± 8.43 years. Seventy-five patients (30%) were overweight, 42 (16.8%) were obese, and 133 (53.2%) were normal. Increased BMI was associated with the activity of disease (DAS28) (r = 0.426), structural damage (Sharp total score) (r = 0.297), the rate of rheumatoid factor (r = 0.311), and with the rate of anti-cyclic citrullinated protein antibodies (for all p ≤ 0.01). There were no statistically significant differences in BMI according to gender, dose and duration of corticosteroids, or functional impairment. In our sample, overweight seems to be prevalent in our RA patients. Overweight seems to occur independently of treatment and shown to be mainly associated to disease activity, structural damage, and immunological status. Large studies are needed to confirm those results.