Correlation Between BMI and Psoriatic Arthritis Severity Found


The study is latest in linking fat tissue to inflammatory and metabolic disorder severity.

There is a significant correlation between body mass index (BMI) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) severity according to a new study presented at the European Congress of Rheumatology.

Caused by joint inflammation, psoriatic arthritis affects the skin and joints and often leads to pain and disability. Although psoriatic arthritis has been associated with enhanced prevalence of obesity, few studies have studied the correlation between BMI and disease severity. Investigators at the European League Against Rheumatism found a independent correlation between BMI and the severity of a disease activity, patient-percieved disease impact, and disability in patients with psoriatic arthritis.

The PsABio study, an ongoing prospective observational study evaluating patients with PsA receiving ustekinumab or tumor necrosis factor inhibitors, was composed of 917 individuals across 8 European countries. Data were collected on the disease severity and patient impact and analyzed with regression models. Investigators adjusted for several factors such as: age, sex, smoking, body surface area, disease duration, biological treatment, and c-reactive protein.


In patients with PsA classified as obese or non-obese, disease activity measure cDAPSA (range 0-154) was 33.4 vs. 27.7, patient-perceived disease impact measure PsAID-12 (range 0-10) was 6.3 vs. 5.3, and disability measure HAQ-DI* (range 0-3) was 1.36 vs. 1.03 respectively

The study is part of a larger framework which evaluates how fat tissue acts as an active organ in inflammatory and metabolic disorders. Two studies presented at EULAR 2019 found that fat tissue can be used to predict the likelihood of the development of rheumatoid arthritis in subjects who are overweight, and evaluated obesity in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

“With fixed- dose drug regimens, as with self- injected biologics, obesity can reduce efficacy for pharmacokinetic reasons,” said John D. Isaacs, chairperson of the Abstract Selection Committee of EULAR. “These factors, alongside the global epidemic of overweight and obesity, makes research in this area of great relevance and interest.”


1. Being overweight linked to significantly higher disease severity in psoriatic arthritis. European Leauge Against Rheumatism, Madrid, Spain 12-15 June, 2019 Accessed June 12, 2019.

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