Static Image
More African-Americans Could Benefit from Knee Replacement Surgery

More African-Americans Could Benefit from Knee Replacement Surgery

Studies have shown that racial minorities in the United States undergo fewer total knee replacements (TKR) for knee osteoarthritis (OA) than whites do, but the reasons for this are unclear. A new study sheds light on why fewer black Americans tend to have the surgery – and at what cost. It found that African-Americans are offered the option of TKR in fewer cases than whites are, they accept the option less frequently, and when they do undergo the procedure, they have higher rates of complications. Because of these factors, they lose a large number of what’s called “quality-adjusted life years” ...more
Rheumatoid Arthritis Research Briefs: RA Tests, Dementia, Disability

Rheumatoid Arthritis Research Briefs: RA Tests, Dementia, Disability

Keep up-to-date on the latest rheumatoid arthritis (RA) research with our brief research summaries. Obesity May Affect RA Tests Research has shown that obesity can increase the risk of RA or worsen symptoms. A new study of more than 2,000 people with RA suggests it could also affect the results of tests used to measure RA inflammation. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found a link between body mass index (BMI, a measure of body fat) and elevated results of two common tests – SED rate and C-reactive protein (CRP) – used in diagnosing RA and gauging its activity. Researchers say this association ...more
Psoriatic Arthritis Research Briefs: Disease Burden, Eye Surgery, New Biologic

Psoriatic Arthritis Research Briefs: Disease Burden, Eye Surgery, New Biologic

Keep up-to-date on psoriatic arthritis (PsA) research with our brief research summaries. Enthesitis and Dactylitis Associated With Greater Disease Burden The presence of dactylitis – inflammation of the fingers and/or toes – and enthesitis – inflammation of the sites where the tendons or ligaments insert into the bone – can have important implications for people with PsA. A study of 1,567 PsA patients found that, overall, those with dactylitis or enthesitis had greater disease activity. Additionally those with enthesitis had worse functional status, reported more pain and fatigue and were more likely to have work impairment. The study’s authors say their findings underscore ...more
Children of Mothers With RA at Greater Risk of Certain Health Problems

Children of Mothers With RA at Greater Risk of Certain Health Problems

Children born to mothers with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) appear to have an increased risk of RA and two other chronic health problems, according to a study published online recently in Arthritis Care & Research, although the number of children affected is still small. The findings are based on data for all children born in Denmark over a nearly 25-year period. Lead author Line Jolving, a PhD candidate at the University of Southern Denmark, and colleagues undertook the study because the majority of people with RA are women, including many of child-bearing age. Yet not much is known about the effect on ...more
What to Eat and Avoid for Gout

What to Eat and Avoid for Gout

Food choices plays an important role in managing gout, the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in the United States. Gout occurs when uric acid builds up in the blood (instead of being excreted) and gets deposited as crystals in one or more joints, triggering sudden swelling and pain. Uric acid is a by-product of the breakdown of purines, naturally occurring compounds in the body and in certain foods, which is why diet can be important for controlling gout attacks. We asked rheumatologist Hyon K. Choi, MD, a gout expert and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, what people with ...more
Nondrug Pain Relief Underused for OA

Nondrug Pain Relief Underused for OA

People with hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA) use oral pain medications more often than nondrug pain treatments, such as physical therapy, knee joint injections and topical creams, according to an analysis of three clinical trials. That’s in spite of guidelines that recommend trying nondrug treatments before medications. The analysis, which appeared recently in Arthritis Care & Research, looked at trials conducted by researchers at Duke University, the Durham Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, all in North Carolina. A total of nearly 1,200 patients ages 61 to 65 participated in the three ...more
Kathryn Leigh Scott: Out of the Shadows

Kathryn Leigh Scott: Out of the Shadows

It’s early morning in Los Angeles, and actress Kathryn Leigh Scott, despite a long flight from New York the day before, has finished her morning walk before heading to wardrobe for her new film, The Eleventh Green. At 74, she exercises every day, which has helped her stay fit – and recover quickly after two hip replacements. While Kathryn is often remembered for her roles in the television soap opera Dark Shadows, a cult hit that ran from 1966 to 1971, her acting career spans over 50 years, with a wide range of roles in television and movies. In addition, she ...more
You Said It: Avoiding the Flu with RA or PsA

You Said It: Avoiding the Flu with RA or PsA

If you have an autoimmune disease, like rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), or lupus, or you take immunosuppressing drugs, you have to be extra-careful to avoid contagious diseases. We asked our readers and followers “What steps do you take to avoid getting sick during flu and cold season?” Here are their answers. I keep sanitizing hand wipes in my purse for cleaning grocery carts and shopping basket handles. We all use hand sanitizer as soon as we get in the car and wash our hands immediately when we get home. I also exercise regularly to keep my immune system as ...more
FDA Approves Two New Drugs for Psoriatic Arthritis

FDA Approves Two New Drugs for Psoriatic Arthritis

Good news for the approximately two million Americans with psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Those with active disease now have two new treatment options: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December approved both ixekizumab (Taltz) and tofacitinib (Xeljanz) for the treatment of PsA. This is the second approved indication for ixekizumab. The biologic, which is injected, was approved in March 2016 to treat moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis in adults. It can be taken alone or in combination with a traditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD), such as methotrexate. This is also the second approved indication for tofacitinib, a so-called targeted DMARD that is taken ...more
An Early Look at the New Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment Guideline

An Early Look at the New Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment Guideline

Physicians will soon have a new guideline for the management of psoriatic arthritis (PsA). This ambitious undertaking, the details of which were presented recently at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Meeting, involved a large panel of experts who analyzed and synthesized the best available evidence to create and support the recommendations. The proposed guideline – which contains approximately 80 recommendations – will undergo final review prior to consideration for publication in 2018 in the journals Arthritis Care & Research and Arthritis & Rheumatism. It will help rheumatologists select treatments for their psoriatic arthritis patients based on the best available evidence, especially in light of all the new treatments recently approved for PsA by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A Need for a PsA Guideline?  “ had formal guidelines for PsA before, but now we have a lot of new treatment options for the management of this disease,” says Jasvinder Singh, MD, head of the panel ...more