Metabolic Syndrome, Disease Activity, and Adipokines in Patients With Newly Diagnosed Inflammatory Joint Diseases

Objective: To investigate metabolic syndrome (MetS), disease activity, and adipokine levels among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), spondyloarthritis (SpA), and undifferentiated arthritis (UA) at the time of diagnosis and after 1 year of follow-up.

Methods: Patients with inflammatory joint diseases participating in the Northern Savo 2010 population-based prospective epidemiological study were evaluated for components of MetS (by National Cholesterol Education Program’s Adult Treatment Panel III) and clinical parameters of disease activity. The adipokines adiponectin, adipsin, resistin, and leptin were measured at baseline and after 1 year of treatment with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.

Results: Among 176 patients, MetS was detected in 42% of RA, 36% of SpA, and 51% of UA patients. Metabolic syndrome was associated with higher disease activity as measured by patient global assessment in RA and UA patients and increased pain in RA patients. Leptin levels were increased in patients with MetS, showing a linearly increasing trend with the number of components of MetS in SpA and UA, but not in RA. In RA patients, decrease in disease activity correlated with decrease in leptin levels. Resistin did not associate with MetS, but a decrease in resistin correlated with decrease in disease activity in RA and UA. In SpA, increased adiponectin level correlated with relief in disease activity, but not with MetS.

Conclusions: Metabolic syndrome was common in patients with newly diagnosed arthritides and associated with higher disease activity and increased leptin levels. Resistin responded to treatment of arthritis in RA and UA, leptin in RA, and adiponectin in SpA.