January 2021 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’s a wrap-up of the headlines from this past month.

Travel During COVID-19 Pandemic
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided some updates to its guidelines related to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.

If you must travel, follow a few travel safety precautions to help stay healthy when traveling with arthritis.

Are Latinos with Rheumatic Diseases at Higher Risk for COVID-19?
Rates of COVID-19 in Latinos with rheumatic disease is high, especially for those who are obese, according to a new study by the National Institutes of Health. The research also showed that Latino patients who had contracted COVID-19 were also at an increased risk of rheumatic disease flare after a COVID-19 infection. Learn more.

In-Person K-12 Classes Don’t Fuel COVID-19 Outbreaks, Study Says
In-person classes at K-12 schools don’t appear to lead to more coronavirus outbreaks as compared with online-only learning, according to a new CDC study. At the beginning of December 2020, COVID-19 cases in counties with in-person schooling were similar to the rates in counties with only virtual classes, researchers wrote in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Arthritis Drugs ‘Impressive’ for Severe COVID but Not ‘Magic Cure’
New findings suggest that monoclonal antibodies used to treat rheumatoid arthritis could improve severe COVID-19 outcomes, including risk for death. However, study authors caution that the Randomized, Embedded, Multifactorial Adaptive Platform Trial for Community-Acquired Pneumonia (REMAP-CAP) trial comes with a caveat. The preprint findings have not yet been peer-reviewed and “should not be used to guide clinical practice.” 

Data Fuel Debate Over Whether J&J’s One-Dose COVID-19 Vaccine Will Measure Up
Johnson & Johnson recently published updated early data on its Covid-19 vaccine, showing that it provided participants in a clinical trial with at least some immunity after one dose. The data published in the New England Journal of Medicine, offer only hints to a tantalizing question: Could the vaccine, given as a single shot, perform as well as the vaccines that U.S. regulators have already authorized, which are given as two shots?

Read more about the Arthritis Foundation’s position on COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.

Drug Manufacturers Are Raising U.S. Prices Across the Board as America’s Attention Is on COVID-19,
With most Americans focused on the race to get a COVID-19 vaccine, pharmaceutical companies are quietly raising the list prices of name-brand prescription drugs, including Xelganz, Cosentyx, Humira and Enbrel.

If you or a loved one with arthritis are having difficulty with paying for your medication, learn more about consumer assistance programs.

Target Discovered That Halts Osteoarthritis-Type Knee Cartilage Degeneration
A group of scientists believe they’ve discovered a method through which a simple knee injection could potentially stop the effects of osteoarthritis. These researchers showed that they could target a specific protein pathway in mice, put it into overdrive and halt cartilage degeneration over time. Read more.

Learn more about the treatment guidelines for osteoarthritis.

Gut Microbiome Diversity Linked to Treatment Response to Methotrexate
A study published in Arthritis and Rheumatology has found rheumatoid arthritis patients with a less diverse gut microbiome do not respond as well to methotrexate, suggesting that the gut microbiome may have a direct effect on metabolism of methotrexate and treatment outcomes. Read the study results.

Tune in to the latest Live Yes! With Arthritis podcast episode: Microbiome, Gut Health & Arthritis to learn more about the role of microbiome in managing your arthritis and overall health. Then download the latest eBook to learn more about The Benefits of Good Gut Health to get a grocery shopping list and sample menu to kick start your nutrition goals.

Exercise Shown to Be Beneficial for Body and Brain
While physical activity has been shown to be beneficial for managing arthritis, new research shows exercise may be beneficial for better brain health later in life.

Click here to get started on developing an exercise program to manage your arthritis.


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