HealthDay News — For patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), bariatric surgery-associated weight loss correlates with lower disease activity, decreased serum inflammatory markers, and less RA-related medication use, according to a study published in the December issue of Arthritis Care & Research.
Jeffrey A. Sparks, MD, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study involving 53 RA patients who underwent bariatric surgery. Anthropometrics, laboratory values, RA disease activity, and medication use data measures were obtained at baseline (before surgery), at 6 and 12 months after surgery, and at most recent follow-up.
The researchers found that at 12 months after surgery, subjects had lost a mean of 41.0kg and 70% of excess weight (P < 0.001). At postsurgical visits there was significant improvement in RA disease activity (P < 0.001). Six percent of patients had moderate to high disease activity at 12 months after surgery, compared with 57% at baseline (P < 0.001). Seventy-four percent of patients were in remission at the most recent follow-up (mean, 5.8 years after surgery), compared with 26% at baseline (P < 0.001). Compared with baseline, at follow-up visits, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein level, and RA-related medication use were significantly lower (P < 0.05).
“Other factors, such as improved efficacy of medications, improved physical activity, and metabolic changes, may also have contributed to these postsurgical improvements,” the authors write.
- Sparks JA, Halperin F, Karlson JC, et al. Impact of bariatric surgery on patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Arthrit Care Res. 2015;67(12):1619-1626. doi: 10.1002/acr.22629
This article originally appeared on MPR