Obesity is linked to a number of conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and foot pain. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic now have reason to believe that carrying an excessive amount of body fat may also increase the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
Authors of the study examined the medical records of more than 1,400 patients from 1980 to 2007. They discovered that cases of rheumatoid arthritis grew by roughly 9 cases per 100,000 individuals during that time period.
Moreover, obesity accounted for 52 percent of the increase, the researchers noted.
“It adds another reason to reduce and prevent obesity in the general population,” said co-author Eric Matteson, M.D.
Rheumatoid arthritis is known to begin showing its symptoms in the hands and feet – sometimes resulting in bunions, hammer toe or stiff fingers – then moves on to affect the knees, ankles, hips and shoulders.
Results of this study suggest that losing weight may help individuals in their battle against arthritis.