Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Risk Is Low among Adults with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Body joint pain concept as human skeleton and muscle anatomy of the body with a group of sore joints as a painful injury or arthritis illness symbol for health care and medical symptoms with 3D illustration elements.Patients who have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, according to the recent analysis of a US commercial insurance database. The analysis, which was published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research, compared adults with rheumatoid arthritis to patients diagnosed with other health issues.

A total of 449,327 people were included in the analysis, which divided patients into four groups for comparison to rheumatoid arthritis patients. The groups included patients without rheumatoid arthritis, patients with hypertension, osteoarthritis, and patients with psoriatic arthritis.


All patients were followed for an average of 1.6 years. It was found that the rate of type 2 diabetes development was lowest in the rheumatoid arthritis group (7.0 per 1,000 people per year) and highest (12.3 per 1,000 people per year) in the hypertension group. Overall, patients with rheumatoid arthritis were associated with a 24% to 35% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with the four other groups.

No Association with Type 2 Diabetes

“While systemic inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, our findings unexpectedly show that having rheumatoid arthritis itself does not confer an increased risk of type 2 diabetes compared with four different comparator groups,” said senior author Seoyoung C. Kim, MD, ScD, MSCE. “Since all rheumatoid arthritis patients included in our study were treated with at least one disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, our study is unable to test the association between no treatment or undertreatment for rheumatoid arthritis and risk of type 2 diabetes.”

This study adds to mounting evidence that certain diseases may be associated with a higher risk for other types of illnesses or diseases. Researchers believe that this type of information can help physicians when looking to offer preventative treatments for health issues related to rheumatoid arthritis.

With the conclusion of this study offering no association between rheumatoid arthritis and type 2 diabetes, patients can focus on other health issues that may be linked with the autoimmune disease. Health care experts stress how important it is to know the relationship between illnesses so they can better prepare patients to lower the risk associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Author Bio

About eight years ago, Mat Lecompte had an epiphany. He’d been ignoring his health and suddenly realized he needed to do something about it. Since then, through hard work, determination and plenty of education, he has transformed his life. He’s changed his body composition by learning the ins and outs of nutrition, exercise, and fitness and wants to share his knowledge with you. Starting as a journalist over 10 years ago, Mat has not only honed his belief system and approach with practical experience, but he has also worked closely with nutritionists, dieticians, athletes, and fitness professionals. He embraces natural healing methods and believes that diet, exercise and willpower are the foundation of a healthy, happy, and drug-free existence.