Arthritis Meds Less Effective in the Obese Population

Published:November 29th, 2010

Arthritis medications can be less effective in treating obese patients with joint pains compared to those people who have normal weight, according a new study published by Arthritis and Rheumatism.

As stated in the aforementioned study, adipose tissue is known to have a immunomodulating or inflammatory effect in arthritis.  However, the exact mechanism how this immunomodulation occurs is still unknown.   In this particular study, 89 patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis were recruited by researchers to take infiximab, a joint pain medication.  They were then observed for a period of 16 weeks. After the observation period, the obese patients having a higher body mass index and rheumatoid arthritis were noted to be less responsive to the effect of infiximab compared to those patients with lower body mass index.   Thus, the reasearchers concluded that fat tissues play a role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis.  Furthermore, other implications of this study include the possibility of obese patients to have less noticeable improvement with the treatment of other TNF-antagonists like infiximab such as etanercept, adalimumab and golimumab.

And as a result of this study, the researchers have suggested a larger study that can confirm the role of excess fats and obesity in the development of joint inflammation seen in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Furthermore, their study also implied additional studies that can discover the exact mechanism how fats produce this kind of joint problem.

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