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

Obesity Reduces Odds of RA Remission

Research suggests weight may be a factor in whether people with RA will achieve disease remission. A review of studies screened a total 3,368 patient records. Canadian researchers found obese patients with RA were less likely to achieve remission or sustain remission compared to healthy-weight patients. Obesity, they reported, negatively impacts disease activity and patient-reported outcomes during therapy. Therefore, they say, interventions to reduce BMI should be investigated for the ability to improve disease outcomes.

Source: Arthritis Care & Research, January 2017

Biologics Not a Risk Factor for Surgical Complications

Because biologic drugs modify the immune system, doctors have feared the drugs might increase the risk of surgical site infections or delayed healing in people undergoing surgery. A study of 227 people with RA who underwent 332 orthopaedic surgeries helps put those fears to rest.

Researchers found no correlation between biologic use and either complication. Risk factors for both included advanced age and preoperative white blood cell count. Prolonged surgery and foot surgery were also risk factors for delayed wound healing.

Source: Clinical Rheumatology, June 2016

Substance in Green Tea Blocks Inflammation

Switch your morning cup of coffee to a cup of green tea and you could be doing your RA a favor, a 2016 study suggests. The study found that in a mouse model of RA, a chemical called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) in green tea blocks transforming growth factor activated kinase-1 (TAK1). TAK1 is a signaling protein that plays a role in activating inflammation. In mice that received EGCG for 10 days, ankle swelling was reduced.

Source: Arthritis & Rheumatology, February 2016

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