Fat could worsen effects of rheumatoid arthritis

October 3, 2008 2:35:08 PM PDT
People with rheumatoid arthritis often develop disability early in the course of the disease. A new study finds, individuals with more lean mass were at lower risk of disability, but the effect of fat mass was stronger. The study in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism determined having more lean mass means more muscle which results in better physical function. They believe fat could hinder movement of the arms and legs.

Scientists say doctors should encourage muscle strengthening and fat loss in their patients with RA as a method of reducing disability.