Background Overweight is a serious problem of relevance to health policy. Patients with chronic diseases might be a risk group. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) leads to functional restrictions limiting physical activity which could cause in combination with e.g. glucocorticoid medication an increased risk for overweight in patients.
Objectives To assess the overweight prevalence of children and adolescents with JIA, to identify health and lifestyle factors influencing overweight and to analyse the trend of overweight in patients with JIA.
Methods Cross-sectional data of patients with JIA participating in the National pediatric rheumatological database and an additional “lifestyle”-questionnaire in 2005 were analyzed. A chi-squared test was applied to test for differences between patients and subjects of a reference group regarding overweight and associated variables.
Reference data were used from the German health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS), conducted by Germany’s national Public Health Institute . Analysis of influencing factors was performed by linear regression. In addition, data of the observation years from 2003 until 2010 were analyzed to determine the trend of overweight in patients with JIA using Growth Curve Models by Dividian & Giltinan.
Results In 2005 a total of 3,622 patients with JIA were included in the analysis, median age was 11 years, 14.4% were overweight. Associated variables with overweight were subgroup, age, participation in school sports, medication with glucocorticoids and level of functional restriction. As influencing factors for overweight the systemic JIA, functional restrictions, and the non-participation in school sports were identified.
Weight status did not differ from controls, although slight differences in health- and lifestyle-aspects were found. Differences between patients and reference group affected duration and frequency of physical activity.
Trend analysis showed a reduction in overweight prevalence from 2003 until 2010 (-4.9%). Especially among patients with systemic JIA the overweight prevalence decreased (-9.6%). Reduction of overweight rate was accociated by an improved funtional status.
Conclusions Fortunately overweight prevalence in patients with JIA did not vary from reference group. However, patients with systemic arthritis tend to be overweight. In recent years, for this subgroup of JIA a trend of weight reduction can be observed. Declining overweight rate might be caused by improved treatment options.
Funding In 2005 the National Paediatric Rheumatology Database had a grant from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Currently it is funded by the Children Arthritis Foundation (Kinder-Rheumastiftung).
Disclosure of Interest None Declared