Biologic DMARD Treatment Linked to Weight Gain in Inflammatory Arthritis

Woman standing on scale, weight
Woman standing on scale, weight
Treatment with bDMARDs may lead to weight gain in patients with inflammatory arthritis.

The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2018 American College of Rheumatology and Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ACR/ARHP) Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. Rheumatology Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in rheumatology. Check back for the latest news from ACR/ARHP 2018 .

CHICAGO — Patients with inflammatory arthritis (IA) who are treated with biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) tend to gain weight over time, according to the results of a retrospective analysis presented at the 2018 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting, held October 19-24, in Chicago, Illinois.

Investigators sought to examine whether weight or body mass index (BMI) is associated with bDMARD treatment in IA. Secondary study objectives assessed disease activity as a function of weight change among these individuals.

A total of 2228 patients with IA enrolled in the Rheumatoid Arthritis Pharmacovigilance Program and Outcomes Research in Therapeutics Database were evaluated. This database comprises a cohort of patients with IA from Northern Alberta, Canada, and captures demographic information from participants, including weight at baseline, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and yearly. Participants’ weight, BMI, and Disease Activity Score 28 (DAS28) were assessed over time in months.

Small but significant increases in weight (0.02 lb) and BMI were observed over time. Moreover, a negative association between DAS28 and increased weight (-0.56) as well as BMI (-0.08; P <.001 for both) was reported, implying that an increase in weight was linked to lower disease activity.

Although extremes in weight and BMI have previously been identified as “a risk factor for poor long-term outcomes in patients with IA,” the investigators concluded that the results of the current analysis may reflect improved disease control among this patient population.

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Jones B, Hassan I, Maksymowych, Yacyshyn E. Association between biologic DMARDs and weight change in patients with inflammatory arthritis. Presented at: 2018 American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ACR/ARHP) Annual Meeting; October 19-24, 2018; Chicago, IL. Abstract 2457.  

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