Obesity epidemic behind rheumatoid arthritis

Obesity epidemic may be linked with the rising incidence of rheumatoid arthritis, a painful condition which causes inflammation of the joints, especially among women, says a study.

Mayo Clinic researchers studied hundreds of patients and found a history of obesity that places women at significant risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

RA tends to initially impact the hands and feet and then spread to the knees, ankles, hips and shoulders. Complications can include heart problems, lung disease, osteoporosis, the journal Arthritis Care & Research reported.

Researchers relied on medical records covering 1980-2007 and studied 813 adults with rheumatoid arthritis and 813 adults as the control group (without RA), matched by age, gender and calendar year.

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