Abstract: Objective: Since obesity has been associated with a higher inflammatory burden and worse response to therapy in patients with chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases (CIRD), we aimed to confirm the potential association between body mass index (BMI) and disease activity in a large series of patients with CIRDs included in the Spanish CARdiovascular in rheuMAtology (CARMA) registry.
Methods: Baseline data analysis of patients included from the CARMA project, a 10-year prospective study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) attending outpatient rheumatology clinics from 67 Spanish hospitals. Obesity was defined when BMI (kg/m2) was >30 according to the WHO criteria. Scores used to evaluate disease activity were Disease Activity Score of 28 joints (DAS28) in RA, Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) in AS, and modified DAS for PsA.
Results: Data from 2234 patients (775 RA, 738 AS, and 721 PsA) were assessed. The mean ± SD BMI at the baseline visit were: 26.9 ± 4.8 in RA, 27.4 ± 4.4 in AS, and 28.2 ± 4.7 in PsA. A positive association between BMI and disease activity in patients with RA (? = 0.029; 95%CI (0.01- 0.05); p = 0.007) and PsA (? = 0.036; 95%CI (0.015-0.058); p = 0.001) but not in those with AS (? = 0.001; 95%CI (-0.03-0.03); p = 0.926) was found. Disease activity was associated with female sex and rheumatoid factor in RA and with Psoriasis Area Severity Index and enthesitis in PsA.
Conclusions: BMI is associated with disease activity in RA and PsA, but not in AS. Given that obesity is a potentially modifiable factor, adequate control of body weight can improve the outcome of patients with CIRD and, therefore, weight control should be included in the management strategy of these patients.
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