Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is linked to a 23 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and may indicate that both diseases are tied to the body's inflammatory response, reports a new study. The findings of the study are presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting.
The research was led by Zixing Tian and Dr. Adrian Heald, University of Manchester, UK, and colleagues.
Inflammation has risen as a critical factor in the onset and progression of T2D, and RA is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease. The team suggests that the systemic inflammation linked to RA might contribute to the risk of developing diabetes in the future.
The authors found that having RA was linked to a 23% higher chance of developing T2D compared to the diabetes risk within the general population.
They conclude: "This finding confirms the notion that inflammatory pathways are involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes. We recommend that more intensive screening and diabetes management risk factors should be considered in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Agents that decrease systemic inflammatory marker levels may have a role in preventing type 2 diabetes. This may involve concentrating on more than one pathway at a time."