Weight management should be part of the treatment plan for patients with early rheumatoid arthritis, a new study indicates.

Fat is Bad for Rheumatoid Arthritis.

One possible reason why fat is bad in RA is that fatty tissue enumerate chemical signals called adipokines, many of which are pro-inflammatory.
I would also postulate that an adverse gut microbiome may predispose to weight gain as well as drive the inflammatory arthritis in these patients.
More about the microbiome and obesity in a later post. Stay engaged.

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Massive weight loss through bariatric surgery helps reduce RA disease activity.

This is a retrospective cohort study without matched controls. As such, it is inappropriate to surmise that similarly well-endowed RA patients who did not undergo bariatric surgery would not have achieved similar (if not better) disease control given the same standard of medical care.
In fact, given current availability of highly effective targeted therapies, coupled to early and aggressive treat-to-remission (or low disease activity) and tight control strategies, the eventual good outcome is only to be expected.
As a corollary from the earlier post that excessive weight gain threatens loss of remission in RA, it is reasonable to suggest that good weight management can help to maintain RA remission, and possibly help in achieving remission; but this study doesn’t prove it.
To conclude that bariatric surgery has any role in reducing RA disease activity is way premature.

Effect most pronounced in patients with severe disease pre-surgery

Fat is Bad for Psoriatic Arthritis AND Psoriasis. Like in RA, massive weight reduction through surgery helps both the joints and the skin!