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  Zanko J Med Sci:  Aug. 2017; 21 (2): 1726-1735

Prevalence of obesity in rheumatoid arthritis and its association with disease activity and latex positivity in a sample of patients in Erbil

Khadeeja Ramadhan Younis*, Dashty Abass Al-Bustany**


* Department of Rheumatology and Medical Rehabilitation, Rizgary Teaching Hospital, Erbil, Iraq.

** Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq.


Background and objective: The prevalence of obesity is rising across the world and it is regarded as a major health concern which is thought to be associated with a number of chronic illnesses including rheumatoid arthritis. This study aimed to find out the prevalence of obesity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and to apprehend the association of obesity with disease activity and latex positivity.

Methods: One hundred twenty patients with rheumatoid arthritis who were regularly visiting Rizgary Teaching Hospital in Erbil were included in a cross-sectional study using specially designed mixed questionnaire. Body mass index and waist circumferences were measured, and their association with disease activity score 28 (DAS28) and clinical disease activity index (CDAI) were estimated. Furthermore, we evaluated their association with positive latex test.

Results: There was increased frequency of obesity in rheumatoid arthritis patients, and there was a positive association between body mass index and waist circumference with disease activity measured by DAS28 and CDAI (P <0.001). There was no significant association between obesity and latex positivity which has been assessed separately for males and females (P = 0.898 and 0.086, respectively).

Conclusion: Obesity is frequently found in rheumatoid arthritis patients. It is associated with higher disease activity, but not with the latex positivity in these patients.

Keywords: Obesity; Rheumatoid arthritis; BMI; latex test; Disease activity.


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