Assessing body composition, including fat mass, muscle mass, and other tissues, investigators found that, in a Chinese cohort, body mass index showed no association with rheumatoid arthritis, but that myopenia is positively associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
For patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), myopenia is very common and is associated with functional limitation and joint damage, according to results published in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle.
The study included participants with RA (n=457) and healthy controls (n=1860). The researchers assessed participants’ body composition, using bioelectric impedance analysis. Overfat was defined as body fat percentage (BF%) ≥25% for men and ≥35% for women. Myopenia was defined as appendicular skeletal muscle mass index ≤7.0 kg/m2in men and ≤5.7 kg/m2 in women.
The researchers collected data on body mass index, disease activity, function, and radiographic assessment. They defined active disease as disease activity score in 28 joints with 4 variables including C-reactive protein (DAS28-CRP) ≥2.6. Functional limitation was defined as a Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index >1. Radiographic joint damage (RJD) was defined as Shaper/van der Heijde modified sharp score >10.
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