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ACR 2020 Highlights: A Unique Perspective as Both a Patient & Provider

ACR 2020 Highlights: A Unique Perspective as Both a Patient & Provider

By Cheryl Crow, patient advocate and occupational therapist My name is Cheryl Crow, and I am an occupational therapist (OT) who has lived with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for 18 years. In early November, I was honored to attend the annual American College of Rheumatology’s virtual conference as both a speaker and an attendee. Along with fellow patient and health care provider Courtney Wells, PhD, a social worker and instructor, and fellow RA patient, Mariah Leach. creator of Mamas Facing Forward, I presented during the session, “Reproductive Health: Meet Women's Needs.” During our session, we shared research on how many women with rheumatic diseases ...more
November Arthritis News Roundup

November Arthritis News Roundup

The Arthritis Foundation is your trusted source for information, and we’re staying on top of the latest arthritis-related news that could affect you. Here are the headlines from this past month. These are some recent developments regarding COVID-19: High Risk of COVID-19 Household Transmission Found A new study shows COVID-19 transmission within households had a secondary infection rate of 53%. Significant transmission occurred regardless of whether the family member with initial diagnosis was an adult or child. Approximately 75% of those who also tested positive in the home did so within five days of the initial infection. Researchers strongly advise that people who ...more
‘Gratifood’ — Giving Thanks for Health and Comfort Foods That Fight Inflammation

‘Gratifood’ — Giving Thanks for Health and Comfort Foods That Fight Inflammation

By Julie Eller, arthritis patient and Live Yes! With Arthritis podcast co-host November is one of my favorite months of the year because it is a month that is all about food. This year’s holiday will look very different for many families as we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. One thing that continues to remain the same is my month dedication to experimenting in the kitchen. I love to spend time in my kitchen curating the perfect menu to serve for the Thanksgiving holiday. For me, the staples are honeycrisp apple pie, roasted carrots, Yorkshire puddings, and of course, ...more
Meaghan Victory Pays it Forward by Caring for Others

Meaghan Victory Pays it Forward by Caring for Others

Meaghan Victory dreamed of becoming a nurse even before her juvenile arthritis (JA) diagnosis at age 9. Inspired by the nurses who cared for her, she is now living her dream as a registered nurse in the cancer care unit at Seattle Children’s Hospital — the same hospital where she received care as a child. The embodiment of perseverance and commitment, the 24-year-old was recently selected as a recipient of the 2020-2021 Arthritis Champions Scholarship program and was awarded the Dr. Smriti Bardhan College Scholarship Fund. “I was very honored to have been selected as a recipient for the 2020-2021 Arthritis Champions ...more
ACR 2020 Highlights: COVID-19 Vaccine Updates, Microbiome News, RA Guidelines, Mental Health in JIA and Patient Education

ACR 2020 Highlights: COVID-19 Vaccine Updates, Microbiome News, RA Guidelines, Mental Health in JIA and Patient Education

Highlights from the last day of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) annual meeting included topics related to vaccine updates for COVID-19, information related to the influence of the microbiome on arthritis and how resilience can have an impact on managing arthritis. Update on Coronavirus Vaccine Development Pfizer announced Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine is performing well so far in trials. But a presentation Sunday described some of the uphill challenges in creating a safe and effective vaccine, which will likely be needed along with public health measures to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Dan Barouch, MD, a professor at Harvard and director ...more
ACR Honors Arthritis Foundation Advisor

ACR Honors Arthritis Foundation Advisor

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has selected James Witter, MD, PhD, who serves on the Arthritis Foundation’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee, to be designated as an ACR Master, one of ACR’s highest honors. He will receive this recognition along with 17 others during the ACR’s annual meeting in November. Dr. Witter has brought not only his extensive professional experience to bear throughout his medical career, but also a patient’s perspective from living for years with ankylosing spondylitis. He received his PhD in medical microbiology and immunology in 1981 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His postdoc research, at Crocker Nuclear Lab ...more
Food as Medicine? Can What We Eat Help Ease Symptoms?

Food as Medicine? Can What We Eat Help Ease Symptoms?

By Rebecca Gillett, MS OTR/L - Live Yes! With Arthritis Co-host To diet or not to diet? That is ALWAYS the question. What type of diet should I eat for my arthritis? “Have you tried the Mediterranean diet or an elimination diet?” “What about paleo or keto?” If you are living with arthritis, like my co-host, Julie, and I do, you’ve been bombarded with questions like those. So, what is it about diet and food that everyone is obsessed with? Can we rely only on diet to stop the pain and symptoms of arthritis? Every one of us reacts differently to food, ...more
ACR 2020 Highlights: What to Eat, Bone & Joint Health, Lupus and New JIA Guidelines

ACR 2020 Highlights: What to Eat, Bone & Joint Health, Lupus and New JIA Guidelines

The highlights from day four of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) annual meeting included topics related to bone health, managing and treating lupus, new treatment guidelines for juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and evidence-based research for osteoarthritis.  Targeted Exercise Improves Bone and Joint Health In two separate sessions, researchers Laura Bilek, PhD, physical therapist, associate professor for women’s health research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and physical therapist Yvonne Golightly, PhD, department of epidemiology at the Thurston Arthritis Research Center at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, gave presentations on therapeutic exercise for bone health and for joint health, respectively.  Exercise for Bone Health: People with rheumatic diseases are likely to have decreased bone density and increased fracture risk. Bilek examined the role of evidence-based exercise interventions for improving bone health and decreasing fracture risk. Bilek ...more
ACR 2020 Highlights: Dr. Anthony Fauci, Gout Guidelines, Osteoarthritis & Promoting Physical Activity

ACR 2020 Highlights: Dr. Anthony Fauci, Gout Guidelines, Osteoarthritis & Promoting Physical Activity

Day three of the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting Saturday continued with sessions on biologics, osteoarthritis treatments, osteoporosis and more, a highlight was a lecture on COVID-19 by Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and a top advisor on COVID-19.  Dr. Anthony Fauci on COVID-19 Background and Current Status Dr. Fauci outlined the background and addressed the public health and scientific challenges of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and the pandemic in the U.S and around the world. Here are some highlights from his pre-recorded lecture:  “We have had experience with coronaviruses now for decades and decades,” said Dr. Fauci. “Here we are now with a global pandemic of historic ...more
ACR 2020 Highlights: Racial Disparities, COVID-19, Empowering Patients and Pregnancy Among Friday Topics

ACR 2020 Highlights: Racial Disparities, COVID-19, Empowering Patients and Pregnancy Among Friday Topics

Racial and ethnic disparities in health care and telemedicine was a focus of several presentations at the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting Friday, the second of the five-day virtual conference.  Minority Rheumatology Patients Fare Worse With COVID-19 In one study, researchers found that rheumatic disease patients of racial and ethnic minorities who were diagnosed with COVID-19 fared worse than white counterparts, said Milena Gianfrancesco, PhD, assistant adjunct professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. Using the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology registry, researchers identified 694 white, Black, Latinx and others with rheumatic disease who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the U.S. They found that Black patients had 2.7 higher odds and Latinx patients had 1.98 higher odds than white patients of being hospitalized for COVID-19. Black and Latinx patients also had three-fold ...more