ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Majority of College Students Report Backpack-Related Pain
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
CANCER
Get to Know the Pap Test
Well Water Might Raise Bladder Cancer Risk
Papaya Could Be a Cancer Fighter
CAREGIVING
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
Mild Flu Season Coming to a Close
Undoing the 'Big Baby' Trend
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Holistic Dentistry-My View
DIABETES
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
Milk Destroys Antioxidant Benefits in Blueberries
To Feel Better, Low-Fat Diet May Be Best
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pregnant Rural Women More at Risk
Air Pollution Raises Risk of Heart Disease, Death
Chemical in Plastics May Cause Fertility Problems
EYE CARE, VISION
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
FITNESS
Fliers Can Keep Blood Clots at Bay
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
As Temperature Plummets, It's Still Safe to Exercise
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
Workplace Wellness Seems to Really Work
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Chinese Red Yeast Rice May Prevent Heart Attack
Whole Grains Lower Risk of Heart Failure
Implanted Defibrillators Boost Long-Term Survival
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
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
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
SENIORS
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
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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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