Thigh Fat Area, Muscle Density Linked to RA Indicators

Fat area and muscle density, but not muscle area, associated with disability, physical performance

FRIDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- Thigh fat area and muscle density, but not muscle area, are indicators of disability and physical performance in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a study published online March 5 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Henry R. Kramer, M.D., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., and colleagues used quantitative computed tomography (CT) to measure thigh muscle density, thigh muscle area, and thigh fat area in 152 patients with RA.

The researchers found that lower muscle density was significantly associated with a wide range of factors, including older age, greater length of sedentary activity, and longer RA duration. Disease characteristics could account for 77 percent of the explainable muscle density variability. There was also a significant and independent association of higher fat area and lower muscle density, but not thigh muscle area, with measures of disability and physical performance, as assessed by Health Assessment Questionnaire scores, Short Form-36 physical scores, Short Physical Performance Battery scores, and the Valued Life Activities scale.

"Thigh CT-derived measures of body composition, particularly fat area and muscle density, were strongly associated with disability and physical performance in RA patients, with RA disease features as potential determinants," Kramer and colleagues conclude. "Efforts to reduce fat and improve muscle quality may reduce disability in this population with impaired physical functioning."

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Blunt Chest Trauma
Journal of Trauma Nursing, November/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95

The School Age Child with Congenital Heart Disease
MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2.5 $24.95

Understanding multiple myeloma
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2 $21.95

More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles

Comprehensive Care: Looking Beyond the Presenting Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2015
Free access will expire on March 2, 2015.

Pain and Alzheimer dementia: A largely unrecognized problem
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

Glycemic control in hospitalized patients
Nursing2015 Critical Care, January 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events