Thigh muscle density linked to physical functioning in RA

August 3, 2012
Thigh muscle density linked to physical functioning in RA
Thigh muscle density, as derived from computed tomography, appears to be a strong indicator of physical functioning and disability in rheumatoid arthritis patients, according to a study published in the August issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

(HealthDay) -- Thigh muscle density (TMD), as derived from computed tomography (CT), appears to be a strong indicator of physical functioning and disability in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, according to a study published in the August issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Henry R. Kramer, M.D., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues assessed thigh fat area (TFA), thigh muscle area (TMA), and TMD using bilateral midfemoral quantitative CTs in 152 patients with RA. Disability and were measured by the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), the Valued Life Activities (VLAs), and the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), and the correlation with thigh-composition measures was evaluated.

The researchers found that, in multivariate analysis, older age, longer duration of sedentary activity, longer duration of RA, higher tender joint count, higher serum interleukin-6 levels, use of glucocorticoids, and nonuse of hydroxychloroquine all correlated significantly with lower TMD. About 63 percent of the variability in TMD was explained by RA characteristics. Higher TFA and lower TMD correlated significantly and independently with higher HAQ scores, lower Short Form 36 health survey scores, lower composite SPPB scores, and a higher proportion of affected obligatory VLAs. Lower TMA was not significantly associated with disability or physical performance measures.

"Thigh CT-derived measures of body composition, particularly fat area and muscle density, were strongly associated with disability and physical performance in RA patients, with RA disease features as potential determinants," the authors write. "Efforts to reduce fat and improve muscle quality may reduce disability in this population with impaired physical functioning."

Kramer is the recipient of an Abbott Medical Student Research Preceptorship award.

Explore further: Discrepancy between disease activity, disability in early RA

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Discrepancy between disease activity, disability in early RA

March 17, 2012
(HealthDay) -- For patients with early rheumatoid arthritis, there is a discrepancy between disease activity and disability, with women experiencing more disability than men, according to a Swedish study published online ...

Achieving realistic physical activity goals benefits RA patients

August 25, 2011
Researchers from The Netherlands report that patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who have higher levels of self-efficacy for physical activity are more likely to achieve their physical activity goals. According to the ...

Recommended for you

US arthritis prevalence is much higher than current estimates

November 27, 2017
New research indicates that the prevalence of arthritis in the United States has been substantially underestimated, especially among adults

Maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels may help to prevent rheumatoid arthritis

November 20, 2017
Maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels may help to prevent the onset of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, research led by the University of Birmingham has discovered.

Old World monkeys could be key to a new, powerful rheumatoid arthritis therapy

November 16, 2017
In the quest for a new and more effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of USC looked to a primate that mostly roams the land in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. It was ...

Study lists foods for fighting rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and progression

November 8, 2017
A list of food items with proven beneficial effects on the progression and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is provided in a new study published today in Frontiers in Nutrition. The authors suggest incorporating these foods ...

Prototype equipment can detect rheumatoid arthritis

September 28, 2017
According to a first clinical study published in the scientific journal Photoacoustics, the University of Twente and various European partners have designed a device that shows the difference between healthy fingers and arthritic ...

Improving the recognition of anxiety and depression in rheumatoid arthritis

August 28, 2017
A study conducted by Keele University shows that patients with rheumatoid arthritis who are also suffering with anxiety or depression may avoid talking to their GP about their mental health symptoms.

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.