Rheumatoid cachexia: a complication of rheumatoid arthritis moves into the 21st century
Immunology R&D, Biogen Idec, Inc., Cambridge, MA 02142, USA
Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA 02111, USA
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009, 11:108 doi:10.1186/ar2658
See related research article by Elkan et al., http://arthritis-research.com/content/11/2/R37Published: 27 April 2009
Rheumatoid cachexia, loss of muscle mass and strength and concomitant increase in fat mass, is very common in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Despite great advances in the treatment of RA, it appears that rheumatoid cachexia persists even after joint inflammation improves. Rheumatoid cachexia may be an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease and excess mortality in RA. In this issue of Arthritis Research & Therapy, Elkan and colleagues demonstrate a link between rheumatoid cachexia and metabolic syndrome, further reinforcing the need for therapy directed beyond inflammation and at the metabolic consequences of RA.