September 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 what you need to know about some of the headlines from this past month.

CDC Reverses Test Guidance for Asymptomatic COVID Contact
Asymptomatic people who have been exposed to COVID-19 should be tested, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reversing its controversial guidance the agency introduced in late August. Any individual without symptoms who has been in close contact with an infected person for at least 15 minutes is now being advised to be tested. Read more about the CDC’s decision to reverse its guidance.

Government Describes Plan to Distribute COVID-19 Vaccine
As several vaccines are currently going through clinical trials under Operation Warp Speed, the federal government has released a plan detailing how it will distribute a COVID-19 vaccine once it’s approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). The administration published two documents that outline vaccine distribution on the Health and Human Services and CDC websites. Learn more about the government’s vaccine distribution plans.

Low Vitamin D Tied to COVID Severity
A new research report released suggests that patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who had low levels of vitamin D experienced worse outcomes than those with normal levels. Read more about this evidence, which links vitamin D deficiencies to more severe cases of COVID-19 infection.

Learn more about how vitamin D, other vitamins and minerals can help in the Arthritis Foundation’s Vitamin and Mineral Guide for Arthritis.

New Study May Pave the Way to Targeted PsA Treatments
In a new, groundbreaking study, researchers have discovered the strongest evidence to date of a single cause for psoriatic arthritis (PsA), potentially paving the way toward creating targeted therapies that would prevent and possibly cure PsA.

Researchers used single cell technology to analyze thousands of individual immune cells from fluid drained form the knees of PsA patients. Doing so allowed researchers to see which genes were switched on in each cell and showed immune T cells had an activated inflammatory profile. The study shows that PsA may be activated by the same trigger in different patients.

Through a collective partnership of several major academic research institutions focused on osteoarthritis — the Osteoarthritis Clinical Trial Network — funded by the Arthritis Foundation, is collecting synovial fluid from the knees of osteoarthritis patients to drive toward similar groundbreaking discoveries. Read more about it here.

The Risk of Severe COVID-19 Within Households of School Employees and School-Age Children
Across the U.S. parents, educators and policy makers have struggled with decisions about how to handle the opening of school and creating plans to keep everyone involved safe from COVID-19. New research shows that 42% of school employees are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 and over 58% of school-aged children lived in a household with at least one adult meeting CDC criteria of increased risk of COVID-19. Read more on the results that highlight the public health challenge we are facing during the pandemic, especially as it relates to school-related exposure and its potential for transmission to families.

Listen to a recent Live Yes! With Arthritis Podcast episode: Going Back to School & College During COVID-19. Stay up to date on the latest Arthritis & Coronavirus news in the Arthritis Foundation’s Care & Connect resource center.

Buyer Beware
As open enrollment for health insurance coverage approaches, buyer beware! A new report suggests deceptive marketing practices may be taking place, raising concerns that sales representatives are promoting Affordable Care Act (ACA) exempt arrangements to consumers with pre-existing condition who otherwise qualify for low-cost, comprehensive ACA coverage. Read the report before you sign up for new coverage to avoid unexpected out-of-pocket health care costs.

The Arthritis Foundation is your resource for understanding your health care and your insurance coverage needs. Visit the RX for Access to better understand your health care coverage needs and get prepared for open enrollment.

Nonradiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis Receives New Diagnostic Code
Recent developments are expected to lead to improvements in care for patients in the diagnosis and treatment of nonradiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA). Diagnostic coding options for nr-axSpA will debut in the FDA’s revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10). Learn more about why this new diagnostic code is a significant step toward improving the treatment and management of this disease.

Learn more on the Foundation website about axial spondyloarthritis and nonradiographic axial spondyloarthritis, as well as information on self-care and treatment options. Listen to the Live Yes! With Arthritis Podcast episode on Take Control of Back Pain. 

Biologics for Psoriasis May Also Reduce Coronary Plaque
Biologic therapy treatment used in patients with psoriasis may also be reducing risks for coronary plaque associated with cardiovascular events, according to a new research report. Read more about how biologics may be helping to control systemic inflammation in patients.

People React Better to Both Negative and Positive Events With More Sleep
More evidence points toward sleep playing a significant role in how people react to life events, whether they are positive or stressful. Read why researchers report making sleep a priority is important to managing health, especially those with chronic conditions.

For more tips and strategies to get more quality sleep, listen to the Sleep and Painsomnia podcast episode.

Turmeric May Help Relieve Pain From Knee Osteoarthritis
Talk of turmeric as a supplement to relieve arthritis pain has been trending for a while, but what does the research say? A new research study released reports turmeric may help relieve knee pain in adults with osteoarthritis. Read the results of this small, randomized trial in the Annals of Internal Medicine. 

Does the Mediterranean diet protect against rheumatoid arthritis?
Previous research has demonstrated a variety of health benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet. Learn more about new research results that suggest the diet may also help prevent developing rheumatoid arthritis for people who smoke or used to smoke.

Already have an arthritis diagnosis? Read more about arthritis nutrition on the Foundation website: The Ultimate Arthritis Diet and watch a video with an expert Q&A: Best Diet for Arthritis.


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