Rheumatoid cachexia: Depletion of lean body mass in rheumatoid arthritis. Possible association with tumor necrosis factor

R. Roubenoff, R. A. Roubenoff, L. M. Ward, S. M. Holland, D. B. Hellmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective. To investigate body composition and serum tumor necrosis factor (TNF) levels in a series of 24 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods. Body composition assessment by anthropometric measures and bioelectrical impedance. Cytokine determination in serum by ELISA. Results. When compared to United States population norms, 16 of the subjects (67%) were cachectic. In regression models, lean body mass (LBM) was inversely associated with the number of swollen joints (p < 0.025). Elevated TNF-α was found in 3 of 5 flaring patients vs 0 of 18 patients with less active disease (p = 0.001). These 3 were all cachectic, while the 2 flaring patients without detectable TNF had normal LBM (p < 0.03). Among the whole group, there was a trend toward increasing disability with decreased LBM after adjusting for joint pain and disease duration (p < 0.07). Conclusion. Cachexia is common in RA, and may be cytokine driven. Given the prognostic impact of LBM wasting in other diseases, the effect of rheumatoid cachexia on outcome in RA deserves further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1505-1510
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Volume19
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • body composition
  • cytokines
  • nutrition
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • tumor necrosis factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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