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Long Awaited Victory in Ohio – Step Therapy Reform Enacted

Long Awaited Victory in Ohio – Step Therapy Reform Enacted

Major victory for Ohioans as the “lame duck” legislative session concluded!  On January 4, Governor John Kasich signed Senate Bill 265 into law. Ohio now joins 18 other states that have enacted laws that regulate the use of step therapy. With over 2.5 million Ohioans with doctor-diagnosed arthritis, this law will lead to a safer and more effective step therapy process for physicians and patients alike. Step therapy is the process by which a health insurer can deny coverage of a prescribed medication, requiring that the patient first try a different medicine. The patient must "fail first" on a drug chosen ...more
You Said It! Best Shoes for RA

You Said It! Best Shoes for RA

We asked our readers and followers “What are your go-to shoe types/brands for your rheumatoid arthritis?” Here are their answers.I wear Easy Spirit clogs. Most important for me is that the shoes have a high toe box. My crooked hammer toes love them. And, as your feet swell during the day, this easy on/off is perfect. You can just slip your feet out to cool them off —Shirley Hoffman, via Facebook I like Brooks running shoes. I don’t run, but they are the most comfortable for me to wear on a daily basis. —Alecia Fishburn, via Facebook I wear Nike flip-flops every day, all ...more
RA Research Briefs: Lung Disease, Remission, Children of RA Patients

RA Research Briefs: Lung Disease, Remission, Children of RA Patients

Keep up-to-date on the latest rheumatoid arthritis (RA) research with our brief research summaries. Lung Disease More Likely with RA Rheumatoid arthritis may increase the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an inflammatory lung disease that makes breathing difficult, a new study shows. A Canadian study, which analyzed data from 24,265 patients with RA and 25,396 controls, found that people with RA had a 47% greater risk of being hospitalized for COPD than members of the general population. SOURCE: Arthritis Care & Research, published online October, 2017 Remission Less Likely in Overweight, Obese Patients A multicenter observational study found that in the first 3 ...more
Best Approach to Managing Osteoarthritis

Best Approach to Managing Osteoarthritis

According to a study in Arthritis Care & Research, people with hip and knee OA use oral pain medications far more than nondrug alternatives. Of the nearly 1,200 patients in the study, 70 to 82 percent took pain relievers; fewer than half tried physical therapy or other nondrug options. Most were overweight, and none got the minimum 150 minutes of physical activity a week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends for good health. That’s a problem, says Laith Jazrawi, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and chief of sports medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. “We know ...more
RA Research Briefs: Vitamin D, Shingles, Jobs

RA Research Briefs: Vitamin D, Shingles, Jobs

Keep up-to-date on the latest rheumatoid arthritis (RA) research with our brief research summaries.  Vitamin D Deficiency Associ­ated with Neuropathic Pain People with RA who suffer from neuro­pathic pain – or, understandably, are try­ing to avoid it – may do well to have their vitamin D levels checked. A study examined neuropathic pain indicators as well as blood samples of 93 patients with RA. The researchers found the prevalence of neuro­pathic pain was almost six times higher in patients with serum vitamin D levels below 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) than in patients with vitamin D levels ≥ 30 ng/mL. Anything below ...more
The Link Between Gout and Atrial Fibrillation

The Link Between Gout and Atrial Fibrillation

What does a disease that inflames your joints have to do with an erratic heart rhythm? Quite a lot, it turns out. Researchers have discovered that people with gout are at increased risk for atrial fibrillation (AFib). One recent study analyzed a sample of Medicare claims data from more than 1.6 million people ages 65 and older. Those with gout were up to 90 percent more likely to be diagnosed with AFib than those without gout. The risk was particularly high among elderly adults. The potential link between the two conditions underscores the need for gout patients to pay attention to their ...more
Interval Training: A HIIT for RA?

Interval Training: A HIIT for RA?

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) tops the American College of Sports Medicine’s list of most popular workouts. According to a small study published in Arthritis Research & Therapy, it might be just the ticket for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), too. HIIT is an aerobic, heart-pumping form of exercise where short bursts of maximum effort, usually lasting from 20 to 60 seconds, alternate with less intense recovery periods. Studies suggest that HIIT is as effective at burning calories and improving heart and lung health as steady-state exercises like running or biking. One 2018 meta-analysis found that HIIT was significantly better than moderately intense steady ...more
PsA Research Briefs: Comorbidities

PsA Research Briefs: Comorbidities

Keep up-to-date on the latest psoriatic arthritis (PsA) research with our brief research summaries. PsA May Put Liver at Risk People with PsA may have an increased risk of liver disease, according to a new study that followed more than a million people for an average of 6 years. People with psoriasis were 37% more likely to develop liver disease than those without inflammatory diseases, the study found. Those with PsA were 38% more likely to have liver disorders. Taking methotrexate further increased their risk. SOURCE: Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2018 Cardiovascular Risk Factors Undertreated A large percentage of patients with psoriasis and psoriatic ...more
Meditation for RA and PsA

Meditation for RA and PsA

Meditation is good for your soul. Research shows it can also help ease pain caused by all types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and osteoarthritis (OA). For centuries, meditation has been used to help focus the mind and soothe the spirit. But scientific evidence suggests this ancient practice – particularly a modern form known as mindfulness meditation or mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) – offers a variety of health benefits, including relief for chronic joint pain and skin disorders like psoriasis. The Research People with psoriasis were involved in some of the earliest research on mindfulness meditation. Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, ...more
Powerful Testimony at the 2018 JIA Patient-Focused Drug Development Meeting

Powerful Testimony at the 2018 JIA Patient-Focused Drug Development Meeting

Hundreds of patients and their families, FDA staff, industry leaders, and researchers convened in Washington, D.C. to participate in the externally-led JIA Patient-Focused Drug Development (PFDD) meeting on August 2, 2018. The meeting served as a kickoff event to the 4-day Arthritis Foundation JA Conference East. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common type of juvenile arthritis (JA). In many children, it’s a life-long illness with a high risk of disease and treatment-related morbidity. There is no cure, and treatments for children are limited. This meeting, which is part of our strategy to help find a cure for this serious disease, ...more