Early menopause predicts a milder form of rheumatoid arthritis

June 8, 2012

A new study presented today at EULAR 2012, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism, shows that early menopause predicts a milder form of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). New insights on factors influencing RA are good news for sufferers of the chronic inflammatory disease that currently affects over 2 million women in Europe. 1,2

The study, based on 134 incident RA cases, found that patients aged over 45 years with a history of early menopause were 50% less likely to develop severe RA (16% versus 35%) and more likely to develop a mild/moderate rheumatoid factor (RF) negative phenotype (58% versus 20%). There was no major difference in RA severity depending on oral contraceptive use or history of breast feeding. This study highlights that may influence pathways that are distinct from those leading to severe, .

Dr. Mitra Pikwer from Skåne University Hospital, Sweden, and lead study author commented: "We already know that hormonal factors may influence the risk of RA, but this is the first study we know of that investigates the impact of menopausal age on the severity of RA. This is an important breakthrough, both in helping us understand the impact that hormones may have on the development of this disease and potentially also in helping us predict the long-term prognosis for our patients."

The study identified patients who answered a questionnaire in a community based health survey (conducted between 1991 and 1996) and later developed RA. Information on hormonal predictors including breastfeeding history, history of oral contraceptive use and menopausal age ( ≤45 years or normal/late menopause > 45 years) was obtained via the questionnaire. By a structured review of the patients medical records, relevant information such as use of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) including biological treatment, radiographic erosions, rheumatoid factor (RF) status as well as Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ*) data was collected. These variables were added to the SPSS TwoStep Cluster Analysis in order to reveal natural groupings of RA severity.

Explore further: Patients with RA receive less protection from pandemic influenza with H1N1 vaccine

More information: Abstract Number: FRI0087

*HAQ (Health Assessment Questionnaire) is a patient questionnaire that measures function and health-related quality of life through measuring a patient's ability to perform everyday tasks.

1. Bevan S, Quadrello T, McGee R et al. Fit for work? Musculoskeletal disorders in the European workforce. www.fundacionabbott.es/saludyt … _European_report.pdf

2. Englund M, Jöud A, Geborek P et al. Prevalence and incidence of rheumatoid arthritis in southern Sweden 2008 and their relation to prescribed biologics. Rheumatology 2010; 49: 1563-9

Related Stories

Patients with RA receive less protection from pandemic influenza with H1N1 vaccine

May 26, 2011
Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis taking disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, showed significantly less protection from pandemic influenza after receiving the H1N1 vaccine compared to healthy individuals, according ...

Study confirms link between rheumatoid arthritis and COPD

May 26, 2011
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are two times more likely to have concurrent chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than healthy controls -- an association which was sustained even when variables such as age, gender, ...

Lower all-Cause, cardio mortality in obese with RA

May 2, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Overweight and obese patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have lower all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, but have substantially increased risks of comorbidities, medical costs, and reduced quality of ...

Arthritis sufferers at increased risk of heart disease

August 15, 2011
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) sufferers are at an increased risk of dying due to cardiovascular disease. A new five year study published in BioMed Central's open access journal Arthritis Research & Therapy showed that the risk ...

Recommended for you

Fluid in the knee holds clues for why osteoarthritis is more common in females

June 26, 2017
Researchers have more evidence that males and females are different, this time in the fluid that helps protect the cartilage in their knee joints.

Biologics before triple therapy not cost effective for rheumatoid arthritis

May 29, 2017
Stepping up to biologic therapy when methotrexate monotherapy fails offers minimal incremental benefit over using a combination of drugs known as triple therapy, yet incurs large costs for treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA). ...

Drug for refractory psoriatic arthritis shows promise in clinical trial

May 24, 2017
In a pivotal phase-3 clinical trial led by a Stanford University School of Medicine investigator, patients with psoriatic arthritis for whom standard-of-care pharmaceutical treatments have provided no lasting relief experienced ...

Cross-species links identified for osteoarthritis

May 17, 2017
New research from the University of Liverpool, published today in the journal npj Systems Biology and Applications, has identified 'cell messages' that could help identify the early stages of osteoarthritis (OA).

Osteoarthritis could be prevented with good diet and exercise

May 12, 2017
Osteoarthritis can potentially be prevented with a good diet and regular exercise, a new expert review published in the Nature Reviews Rheumatology reports.

Rodents with trouble walking reveal potential treatment approach for most common joint disease

May 11, 2017
Maintaining the supply of a molecule that helps to nourish cartilage prevented osteoarthritis in animal models of the disease, according to a report published in Nature Communications online May 11.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.