Obesity in women and smoking among men could be major factors behind not achieving remission in rheumatoid arthritis, despite early treatment, researchers say.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects a person’s joints, causing pain and disability and can also affect internal organs.
The study showed that though early identification and aggressive treatment improve arthritis outcomes, six per cent of women and 38 per cent of men did not achieve remission in the first year despite receiving guideline-based care.
“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 Susan Bartlett, professor of Medicine at McGill University in Canada.
The study, published in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, included 1,628 adults with an average age of 55.
The analysis highlighted that obesity more than doubled the likelihood of not achieving remission in women.
In men, current smoking was associated with 3.5 greater odds of not achieving remission within the first year.
Further, almost all patients within the study were initially treated with conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (csDMARDs), with three quarters being treated with methotrexate.
Analysis demonstrated that not using methotrexate significantly increased the likelihood of not achieving remission in women by 28 per cent and in men by 45 per cent.
“These results highlight the need to support physicians and empower patients to take advantage of the impact lifestyle changes can have on disease progression,” Johannes Bijlsma, President, European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR), said in a statement. (IANS)
There are more than 8 million people who die from tobacco-related causes each year. Of these, over 7 million die as a result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke. Smoking is decidedly bad for your health and harms nearly every organ of the body.
Smoking causes damage to blood vessels making them thicken and grow narrower. This increases heart rate and your blood pressure. Smoking also causes many other cancers and health problems. Women who smoke during pregnancy face a greater risk of certain pregnancy problems.
An effective cure to addiction is the practice of yoga and meditation. Yoga offers tools to down-regulate the stress response system and activate the relaxation response. This increases our capacity to observe our experiences with a greater sense of level-headedness and self-control. Yoga practices such as asanas, and meditation also rewire the brain creating new neural pathways. These are effective for new behaviour-forming habits, breaking old patterns to replace them with healthier ones. In this way yoga can help in de-addiction, and also regain the body’s health by boosting your immune system, building strength for both body and mind, and flushing out toxins.
One of the main reasons that people find it a challenge to give up smoking is because of nicotine. Nicotine is a stimulant drug and a highly addictive substance that is found in tobacco. Nicotine addiction makes it much harder for people to quit smoking. But it is important to remind oneself of the dangers of smoking and stay committed to quitting the habit. Yoga asanas release feel-good hormones in your body and lead you to make positive lifestyle changes. Yoga also builds mindfulness, and this awareness can be useful to keep yourself in check every time you reach for a cigarette.
Practice the following asanas upto three times or more a week, repeat for up to three sets holding each pose for 15-30 seconds.
Kneel on the yoga mat and place your hands on the hips.
Simultaneously, arch your back and slide your palms over your feet till the arms are straight.
Do not strain or flex your neck but keep it in a neutral position.
Stay in this posture for a couple of breaths.
Breathe out and slowly come back to the initial pose. Withdraw your hands and bring them back to your hips as you straighten up.
Vajrasana – Thunderbolt pose
Formation of the Posture
Begin by standing straight with your arms by the sides of your body
Lean forward and slowly drop your knees on your mat
Place your pelvis on your heels and point your toes outward
Here, your thighs should press your calf muscles
Keep your heels slightly apart from each other
Place your palms on your knees facing upward
Straighten your back and look forward
Hold this asana for a while
Softly inhale and exhale
Word of Advice
A person suffering from knee joint pain, Arthritis or any knee injury should avoid this asana
Paschimottanasana – Seated forward bend
Formation of the Posture
Begin with Dandasana
Ensure that your knees are slightly bent while your legs are stretched out forward
Extend your arms upward and keep your spine erect
Exhale and empty your stomach of air
With the exhale, bend forward at the hip and place your upper body on your lower body
Lower your arms and grip your big toes with your fingers
Try to touch your knees with your nose
Hold the posture for 10-30 seconds, repeat up to 3 times
Exhale as you fold forward
Formation of the posture
Begin by standing in Samasthithi
Exhale and gently bend your upper body, dropping your head and keeping your shoulders and neck relaxed
Bring the trunk closer to the legs. Try to touch the knees with the forehead. This may require a lot of flexibility. If you are starting out your practice, go only as far as it is comfortable.
When you are folding forward, attempt to move your torso from the hip joints, instead of the waist.
Place palms on either side of feet
Try to keep the legs and knees straight throughout the practice. If you are a beginner, you may have to bend your knees slightly to accomplish this.
With practice, slowly straighten your knees and try to touch your chest to your thighs
The pandemic has contributed to an increase in obesity rates as weight loss programmes (which are often delivered in groups) and referred interventions such as surgery are being severely curtailed. We bring to you some Health Tips-
Importantly, the current crisis and the need for self-isolation is prompting many to rely on processed food with longer shelf life (instead of fresh produce) and canned food (with higher quantities of sodium). One might notice an increase in weight if this pattern of lifestyle persists for a longer period of time.
So what should a person do to stay healthy and make one stronger in these times? Dr Sharad Sharma, Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgeon, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi gives a few recommendations:
Proper nutrition and hydration are vital
Those who consume a well-balanced diet are healthier and are able to build stronger immune system. A healthy diet limits the risk of chronic illnesses and infectious diseases
It is recommended to eat a variety of fresh and unprocessed foods every day to accomplish the body’s requirement of necessary Vitamins, Minerals, Dietary Fiber, Proteins and Antioxidants
Consume whole grains and legumes – this also reduces the risk of Diabetes
Drink ample water ï¿½ at least 5 liters per day
Avoid sugar, fat and salt to significantly lower your risk of being overweight, and obese
Do not consume sugar-sweetened beverages & limit intake of oily food
While the stay at home order has restricted our outdoor movements, it is important for people of all ages and abilities to be as active as possible.
Avoid sitting or slouching all the time
Every 20 minutes, move around for 3-5 minutes; walk or stretch-this will help reduce the strain on a muscle, relieve any form of mental tension and will help circulate blood to the body.
The novel COVID-19 that has been mutating rapidly appears to cause sudden strokes in people, who are heavy smokers, diabetic and suffering from hypertension, doctors suggested on Saturday.
They said there is growing evidence to suggest that Covid-19 infection can cause the blood to clot in unusual ways, and as a consequence stroke could be an outcome.
Nishith Chandra, Director Interventional Cardiology at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, said lots of younger people, who had symptoms of Covid-19 infection, are succumbing to strokes in the US and the UK. “Due to Covid-19 blood clotting increases in many parts of the body – heart, lungs, liver, brain, kidney and lower limbs.
“Whatever pattern we got from Italy, the clinical profile is nearly the same. Trends show thrombosis in Indian patients. There is a possibility that stroke is likely to emerge in Indian disease pattern” said Chandra.The doctor insisted smokers and diabetic persons are more vulnerable to strokes, and it is important to exercise strict blood sugar control. “H1N1had no thrombosis, but Covid-19 has”, he added.
According to studies from the Netherlands and France, it is indicative that clots appear in 20 to 30 per cent of critically ill COVID-19 patients.
Sujeet Jha, Principal Director at Endocrinology Diabetes Max Health Care, said that clinicians should investigate all unusual strokes or even heart attacks with possible link of Covid- 19 infection. Blood tends to be thicker with severe infection which results in small or larger clots which may cause sudden blockages of blood supply to part of the brain and they can lead to weakness or paralysis of the body.
“Covid-19 infection presenting with cerebrovascular accident (stroke) up to 5 to 6 per cent, from different studies. It’s seen more commonly who has severe infection and associated comorbid conditions which are similar to lung syndromes like advancing age Diabetes Hypertension Coronary artery disease ,though certain young persons have also presented for the first time with stroke based on US Studies”, Jha added. He insisted that diabetes is well known to increase risk of stroke or cardiovascular disease (CVD) by 2-3 times, and most early deaths in diabetes are due to CVD.
Reportedly, researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York City, reported Covid-19 patients on mechanical ventilation, who received blood thinners, had a lower mortality than those who weren’t treated with them.
Manisha Chakrabarti, senior consultant in congenital and paediatric heart diseases at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, said heavy smokers, diabetics, people having hypertension and pre-existing cardiac condition are vulnerable to strokes due to Covid-19. “Thromboembolic events are linked to Covid-19. In the US, in children inflammation of coronary arteries was seen, and there is a possibility of clot formation in arteries…coronavirus is causing damage to organs”, added Chakrabarti. (IANS)