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’s what you need to know about some of the headlines from this past month.
Coronavirus and Arthritis News
The new coronavirus pandemic has changed so much about the world around us and in our daily lives. We’re keeping you updated on the developments, checking facts and talking to top experts to get credible, reliable information you need about the new virus and COVID-19 and how they may impact you and your arthritis. Read the latest on our Care & Connect resource center.
FDA Resources Available
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has information regarding COVID-19 with resources to help address questions patients may have about FDA-regulated medical product shortages (drugs, biologics, devices), COVID-19, what to do if you become ill and more.
CDC Releases Specific Guidance on Masks
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidance regarding the use of cloth face coverings.
- They mainly protect other people from you if you are an asymptomatic carrier.
- They probably won’t protect you from other people, so keep social distancing (six feet apart) and washing your hands often.
- Do not put masks on toddlers, infants or anyone who may not be able to remove it themselves.
Can You Get Coronavirus From Fabric?
There’s so much that isn’t known about the novel coronavirus and how it spreads. Preliminary research shows it can remain on some surfaces for up to 72 hours; however, the study did not include fabric. Although many health care providers are taking extra precautions to protect themselves by washing clothes immediately upon removing, it isn’t clear whether you should be doing the same. Read more.
Loneliness in the Time of Social Distancing
In today’s climate of quarantines and social distancing, loneliness is another real public health threat, according to an article from Scientific American. Experts say that people who feel isolated are more likely to experience depression, develop heart disease and live a shorter life. With the coronavirus keeping us apart, now is the perfect time to practice using technology in socially health ways. Read suggestions on how to connect without contact.
In Other Arthritis News
Influenza Is Back on the Rise After Steady Decline
According to a recent CDC report, hospitalization rates are higher than most recent flu seasons and rates for younger children and adults ages 18 to 49 are at their highest since the CDC began recording these figures. There have been at least 24,000 deaths so far this season. Read the report.
A New RA Risk Factor
Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have been linked to an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in a recent large study of over 200,000 women. RA risk increased by about 50% among asthma patients and nearly doubled among those with COPD. The findings strengthen the case for the potential role of obstructive lung diseases in RA development. Learn more. You can read details of the prospective cohort study in this Arthritis & Rheumatology abstract.
PROs Predictive of Radiographic Findings in Knee OA
A recent study of 2,300 older adults supports the use of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) as a clinical trial endpoint, validating that patient perceptions reveal a lot about the underlying condition. The study concluded that knee pain patterns are associated with radiographic disease stage, duration and pain severity, highlighting their importance in understanding symptomatic disease progression. Read more.
Brain Fog: Is Distractibility at Its Root?
Patients often complain about feeling like their cognitive capacity is diminished in rheumatic diseases, including fibromyalgia. It is one of the top five complaints of patients. This paper separated out distractibility and inattention from other cognitive issues and found that people with fibromyalgia are susceptible to being distracted by their environment and these distractions may contribute to the overall cognitive complaints of patients.