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RA Patients Who Smoke, Are Overweight Fare Worse

Orthopedics This Week—December 20, 2016

Orthopedics This Week reports on a recent study that states that rheumatoid arthritis patients who smoke or are overweight have extra trouble controlling their symptoms and inflammation despite standard of care treatment.

OTW talks to senior investigator Vivian P. Bykerk, BSc, MD, FRCPC, rheumatologist at HSS, about the findings.

"RA patients' sex, excess weight and smoking were not significantly associated with symptom severity early on, when patients entered the study. However, all three factors influenced how much symptoms improved over time," said Dr. Bykerk.

"Orthopedic surgeons are often the first line of care for patients and can recognize rheumatoid arthritis. This is an opportunity for orthopedic surgeons to initiate a team approach to care by referring the patient to a rheumatologist, with the goal of improving outcomes. In addition to prescribing the appropriate medication, the rheumatologist can help patients with lifestyle changes that could lead to symptom improvement. Rheumatoid arthritis is a destructive disease, but, as our study demonstrated, excess weight and smoking played a role in symptom improvement when patients received standard-of-care treatment in the form of oral medication," she added.

Read the full article at Ryortho.com.


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