Bariatric surgery has a significant impact on disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis, an observational study finds.
Among 53 RA patients who underwent bariatric surgery, there were significant improvements in RA disease activity, serum inflammatory markers, and RA-related medication usage, reported the researchers led by Jeffrey Sparks from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
One year after bariatric surgery, only 6% had moderate/high RA disease activity compared to 57% at baseline (P<0.001), they reported in Arthritis Care & Research.
Their findings suggest that weight loss may have an important role in the non- pharmacologic management of RA in patients with obesity, they conclude.
However whether the observed improvements were attributable to substantial weight loss, specific effects of bariatric surgery, decreased inflammatory burden, reduced mechanical joint stress, improved quality of life, or a combination of these factors, warrants further study, they said.