An analysis of genetic data collected from more than 850,000 individuals of European ancestry has found a link between obesity-related genes and rheumatoid arthritis.
In the Arthritis & Rheumatology analysis, investigators found an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis when body mass index was predicted to be high based on an individual's genetics. This was observed for both men and women.
"These results highlight an important role of obesity in the pathological development of rheumatoid arthritis, as well as provide a potential actionable preventive strategy," said senior author Xia Jiang, PhD, of the Karolinska Institute, in Sweden. "Future studies are needed to understand the biological mechanisms underlying such a link, and to understand how obesity may causally influence rheumatoid arthritis prognosis."