The strongest predictors of patients not achieving early rheumatoid arthritis remission with a year, according to new research presented June 15 at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology in Amsterdam, were obesity in women and smoking in men.

According to the research, which was conducted on 1,628 adults with early rheumatoid arthritis who were enrolled between 2007 and 2016 in the Canadian Early Arthritis Cohort, 46 percent of women and 38 percent of men with early RA didn’t achieve remission after a year, according to a EULAR news release.

Analysis revealed that obesity in women more than doubled the chances of not achieving remission (other factors included minority status, lower education, higher tender joint counts, and fatigue scores), and that men who currently smoke were 3.5 times unlikelier to achieve remission in the first year. For men, other predictors were older age and more pain.

“Our results suggest that lifestyle changes — smoking cessation in men and weight reduction
in women — as well as optimising methotrexate use may facilitate rapid reduction of
inflammation, an essential goal of treatment in early rheumatoid arthritis,” said study author Susan Bartlett, of McGill University, in the release.