Rheumatoid arthritis linked to an increased risk of COPD

October 19, 2017, Wiley

New research suggests that rheumatoid arthritis may increase the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The findings, which appear in Arthritis Care & Research, indicate that greater vigilance may be needed to protect the respiratory health of individuals with chronic inflammatory conditions.

Research has demonstrated an association between COPD and inflammation, raising the question of whether prolonged such as predispose individuals to COPD. To investigate, a team led by Diane Lacaille, MD, FRCPC, MHSc, of Arthritis Research Canada and the University of British Columbia, examined information on individuals in the province of British Columbia who were diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis between 1996 and 2006, and compared it with information on matched individuals in the general population. The analysis included 24,625 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and 25,396 controls.

The investigators found that the incidence of COPD hospitalization was greater in patients with rheumatoid arthritis than in the general population. After adjusting for potential confounding factors, individuals with rheumatoid arthritis had a 47% greater risk of needing to be hospitalized for COPD than controls. The increased risk remained significant after modelling for smoking and with varying COPD definitions.

"These findings are novel because it has only recently been recognized that inflammation plays a role in the development of COPD, and clinicians treating people with rheumatoid arthritis are not aware that their patients are at increased risk of developing COPD," said Dr. Lacaille. "Our results emphasize the need to control inflammation, and in fact to aim for complete eradication of inflammation through effective treatment of rheumatoid arthritis."

Dr. Lacaille added that clinicians and people living with rheumatoid arthritis should be vigilant in watching for early symptoms of COPD. "That way, appropriate tests can be administered to diagnose COPD early, at the onset of symptoms, so that effective treatments for COPD can be initiated before irreversible damage to the lungs occurs." Such steps will improve long-term outcomes for patients and reduce the costs of COPD. The study also points to the need to address COPD risk factors—such as smoking—in people living with rheumatoid arthritis.

Explore further: Study confirms link between rheumatoid arthritis and COPD

More information: Katherine McGuire et al, Risk of Incident Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Population Based Cohort Study, Arthritis Care & Research (2017). DOI: 10.1002/acr.23410

Related Stories

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, ...

Obesity may influence rheumatoid arthritis blood tests

April 10, 2017
New research reveals that in women, obesity may influence blood tests used to diagnose and monitor rheumatoid arthritis. The findings, which appear in Arthritis Care & Research, indicate that physicians need to take obesity ...

Certain occupations linked to an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis

August 10, 2017
New research indicates that certain occupations may put workers at an elevated risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. The findings, which appear in Arthritis Care & Research, suggest that work-related factors, such as noxious ...

Pedometers increase activity and decrease fatigue in rheumatoid arthritis patients

April 5, 2017
Providing pedometers, with and without providing step targets, to individuals with rheumatoid arthritis increased activity levels and decreased fatigue in a recent study.

Study examines opioid use in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

June 21, 2017
A new analysis indicates that the use of opioid pain medications in older US rheumatoid arthritis patients peaked in 2010 and is now declining slightly. By 2014, 41% of rheumatoid arthritis patients were regular opioid users.

Study shows COPD is associated with significant and persistent pain

May 21, 2013
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is primarily associated with the respiratory symptoms that are its hallmark, but in fact, patients who struggle with the disease also experience significant amounts of chronic ...

Recommended for you

Osteoarthritis could be treated as two diseases, scientists reveal

January 10, 2018
Scientists at The University of Manchester have discovered that most people with osteoarthritis can be subdivided into two distinct disease groups, with implications for diagnosis and drug development.

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 ...

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.