ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Vitamin D Plus Calcium Guards Against Fractures
Varicose, Spider Veins May Be Inevitable for Some
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
CANCER
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Omega-3 May Safely Treat Precancerous Bowel Polyps
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
CAREGIVING
Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome
Caring for Aging Loved Ones Can Be a Catch-22
Child's Food Allergies Take Toll on Family Plans
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
DIABETES
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Eating Free Range
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Bed Bugs Bring No Disease Danger
Short-Term Air Pollution Exposure May Damage DNA
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
FITNESS
Avoiding a Holiday Season of Discontent
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
Seniors Who Exercise Help Their Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Study Supports Swine Flu's Pandemic Potential
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
A Little Alcohol May Help the Heart: Studies
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Teen Stress May Have Roots in First Three Years of Life
Family Medicine Cabinet Top Source Of Kid's Poisonings
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
MENTAL HEALTH
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
SENIORS
Any Old Cane Won't Do
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
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Body Fat, Muscle Distribution Linked to RA Disability

THURSDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- How fat and muscle are distributed throughout the body is one of the factors that contribute to limited mobility of people with rheumatoid arthritis, a new study finds.

However, since one's body composition can be altered, there is hope to reduce the amount of disability and improve the quality of life of these patients.

The study, led by researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, was published in the October issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

The results, based on analysis of almost 200 people with rheumatoid arthritis, found that those with increasing amounts of fat and decreasing amounts of lean mass (skeletal muscle) on the arms and legs had the most increasing disability linked with the highly inflammatory disease of the joints.

The authors theorized that increasing fat may affect the normal range of motion of the arms and legs or that the fat may biochemically interfere with muscular function, but they said the most likely reason is that the fat may be infiltrating the muscles, reducing muscle quality.

"Interestingly, in studies of the general population, increasing fat mass has also been more strongly linked to worsening functional capacity than decreasing lean mass, suggesting that efforts to improve physical function require a focus on fat reduction with at least as much emphasis, if not more, than increasing lean mass," the authors wrote.

"In the absence of interventional trials, these findings suggest that practitioners should encourage muscle strengthening and fat loss in their patients with RA as a method of reducing disability," they concluded.

More information

The Arthritis Foundation has more about rheumatoid arthritis.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: Arthritis Care & Research, news release, Sept. 29, 2008

Last Updated: Oct. 02, 2008

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