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Open Badges Editorial

Rheumatoid cachexia: a complication of rheumatoid arthritis moves into the 21st century

Ronenn Roubenoff

Author Affiliations

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.,

Published: 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.