All posts by Arthritis Foundation

April 2022 Arthritis News Roundup 

This Arthritis Awareness Month, look out for Arthritis Foundation billboards in select cities across the U.S. as we work to raise awareness about arthritis and the nearly 60 million people it affects. Journey with us to find the resources and support you need to thrive.

The Arthritis Foundation is your trusted source for arthritis-related news and COVID updates that affect people with arthritis. Here’s a wrap-up of the headlines from this past month.  

 

The Latest in COVID-19 News & Arthritis  

White House Says COVID Treatment Paxlovid Going Nationwide 

As cases rise, the White House is expanding access and use of Paxlovid, a medication made by Pfizer used to treat people 12 and older who have contracted COVID-19 and are at high risk of severe disease. Paxlovid has been found to reduce the risk of COVID-related hospitalization by 90%. Learn more. 

Fauci Clarifies ‘Out of the Pandemic Phase’ Comment 

As the nation’s top infectious disease expert, what Anthony Fauci, MD, says carries considerable weight, and his statement that the U.S. was “out of the pandemic phase” made national headlines. But a day later, Fauci clarified his comments — saying the country is not out of the pandemic, but “out of the full-blown explosive pandemic phase.” Read more. 

Know Your COVID-19 Community Level  

The CDC recently unveiled COVID-19 Community Levels, a tool to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data. Levels can be low, medium or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area. Check your Community Level 

Quarantine & Isolation Calculator FAQ  

Get the latest CDC tool to help determine how long you need to isolate, quarantine or take other steps to prevent spreading COVID-19. Try the tool.  

Get the newest COVID-19 guidance for people with arthritis. Visit our Care & Connect page to find the latest coronavirus information. 

 

In Other Arthritis News 

This Arthritis Awareness Month, we journey together. Find the resources and support you need to thrive.

Mixed Feelings After Joint Replacement 

While most osteoarthritis patients welcome the pain relief that comes with total knee replacement, some also experience psychological impacts that aren’t so pleasant. Read about these patient experiences. 

Is it time for joint replacement? Tune in to our expert Q&A to hear an orthopedic surgeon share advice on when to get joint replacement surgery. Watch now. 

Insights on Overall & Cardiovascular-Specific Mortality in AS & PsA 

People with ankylosing spondylitis — but not those with psoriatic arthritis — face a significantly increased risk of overall mortality, results of a new analysis show. However, rates of cardiovascular mortality were higher for both conditions compared with the general population. Read the findings.  

One Benefit We Don’t See From RA Biologics 

Disability claims in the United States related to rheumatoid arthritis were just as common in 2015 as in 1999, a government researcher found, against expectations that the advent of biologic therapy would have led to a steady decrease. Read more. 

Opioid Distributors Reach Settlement With Washington State 

Washington has reached a $518 million settlement with drug distributors McKesson Corp, AmerisourceBergen Corp and Cardinal Health Inc., ending a months-long trial over the companies’ alleged role in fueling the opioid epidemic in the state. Learn more about the settlement.  

Benefits of reducing or stopping opioids outweigh the downsides. Click here to get expert advice for stopping opioids.  

FDA Approves New Drug for Adults With Ankylosing Spondylitis 

The FDA has approved once-daily, oral upadacitinib (Rinvoq, AbbVie) for the treatment of adults with active ankylosing spondylitis. The FDA approval follows recent efficacy and safety data from two trials, which found that upadacitinib demonstrated rapid and meaningful disease control among adults with AS. Read more about the approval. 

Get the facts about treating ankylosing spondylitis. Visit our AS treatment page for more information.   

RAPID3 Questionnaire May Reduce Outpatient Visits in Patients With RA 

The Routine Assessment of Patient Index Data 3 (RAPID3) was shown to have 92% accuracy in identifying low disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), thus reducing 28% of on-site evaluations, according to a new study. Learn more.  

Celiac Disease More Prevalent in Patients With Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis 

According to a study published in Pediatric Rheumatology, a higher percentage of celiac disease was reported in a large juvenile idiopathic arthritis cohort in Italy, which supports the need for screening in this patient population, especially for those with a family history of autoimmunity. Read more. 

Is there a connection between gluten and arthritis? If you have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, changing your diet may help ease arthritis symptoms. Learn why. 

March 2022 Arthritis News Roundup

The Arthritis Foundation is your trusted source for arthritis-related news and COVID updates that affect people with arthritis. Here’s a wrap-up of the headlines from this past month. 

The Latest in COVID-19 News & Arthritis 

Know Your COVID-19 Community Level 

The CDC recently unveiled COVID-19 Community Levels, a tool to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data. Levels can be low, medium or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area. Check your Community Level.  

Omicron Leads to More Children Under 5 Hospitalized  

Young children in the United States were hospitalized at much higher rates last winter as omicron became the dominant variant, according to a new report published by the CDC. Read more. 

COVID-19 Vaccines Effective in Young Patients With Rheumatic Diseases 

A two-dose regimen of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines elicited a robust humoral neutralization response in almost all adolescents and young adults with childhood-onset rheumatic diseases in a new study from Singapore. Read about the study. 

CDC Outlines Treatment Options for Coronavirus Patients 

Guidance from the CDC now explains best practices for health care professionals treating COVID-19 patients. Learn more about these guidelines. 

 Get the newest COVID-19 guidance for people with arthritis. Visit our Care & Connect page to find the latest coronavirus information. 

 

In Other Arthritis News 

Sleep Apnea Linked to Joint Pain in Postmenopausal Women 

Sleep apnea may lead to increased joint pain in postmenopausal women, according to a study published online. Read the study. 

Does arthritis impact your quality of sleep? Get expert sleep tips so you can rest more soundly, even during a painful flare. 

 RA Patients Impacted by Weight Changes 

According to study results published in Arthritis Care and Research, weight fluctuations could predict elevated cardiovascular risks in people with RA — particularly among thinner patients, who can be overlooked on the issue. Learn more.

Predicting Whether AS Patients Will Respond to Anti-TNFs 

Whether patients with ankylosing spondylitis would improve substantially with TNF inhibitor therapy was predicted with moderate to high accuracy based only on a standard lab test and two measures of disease activity, researchers reported from a modeling study. Read more about the study. 

Steroid Injections as Safe as HA Shots for Knee OA 

Corticosteroid injections are just as safe as hyaluronic acid injections in people with OA of the knee, study findings show. Learn more. 

Learn more about steroid injections. Watch an expert Q&A that covers the most common questions about this treatment. 

Knee Replacements in Patients Over 80 

According to one study presented at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, total knee arthroplasty in patients over 80 years old have lower levels of implant-related complications, but higher readmission rates, medical complications and length of stays. Read more.  

Updated Perioperative Guidance on Antirheumatics 

The American College of Rheumatology and the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons have released updated guidelines regarding whether to withhold drugs such as biologics and immunosuppressives for patients with inflammatory rheumatic disease who are scheduled to undergo elective total hip or knee replacement surgery. Learn more. 

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) stop or slow the disease process in inflammatory forms of arthritis. Learn more about this type of medication. 

Debate on Definition of Flare in Axial Spondyloarthritis 

How best to define axial spondyloarthritis flares in practice remains the subject of some debate as evidenced by the discussion that followed an abstract presentation at the 12th International Congress on Spondyloarthritides. Read more. 

Choosing Initial PsA Treatment 

For patients with psoriatic arthritis whose condition doesn’t respond adequately to methotrexate, the addition of the TNF inhibitor adalimumab increased the likelihood of achieving minimum disease activity, according to results from a phase 4, open-label study. Learn more. 

One-Third of PsA Patients Could Have Metabolic Syndrome 

The prevalence of metabolic syndrome varies according to how it is defined, but approximately 30% of psoriatic arthritis patients met the criteria in a cohort study of 724 individuals, as did approximately 23% to 63% of patients across multiple studies, investigators from Spain report. Read more. 

Do you have questions about PsA treatments? Learn more about the various psoriatic arthritis treatment options recommended by experts.  

Trial Findings Question Need for Prehabilitation Before Total Knee Replacement 

In this randomized clinical trial of 262 participants, multidisciplinary prehabilitation before total knee replacement for knee osteoarthritis did not improve short-term functional independence or reduce midterm activity limitations after surgery. Learn more.

  

February 2022 Monthly News Roundup

The Arthritis Foundation is your trusted source for arthritis-related news and COVID updates that affect people with arthritis. Here’s a wrap-up of the headlines from this past month. 

 

The Latest in COVID-19 News & Arthritis 

Updated Guidance for Vaccination in Rheumatology Patients

As rheumatologists contend with vaccine hesitancy among certain subsets of patients, the American College of Rheumatology has released updated clinical guidelines on COVID-19 vaccination for patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases, including new recommendations on supplemental and booster doses. Read more. 

Get the latest information and news on COVID-19 by visiting the Arthritis Foundation’s Care & Connect portal.

FDA Delays Action on Pfizer Vaccine for Kids Under 5  

The FDA said it would delay a decision on authorizing the use of the Pfizer vaccine for younger children until data on the effects of three doses is available. Learn more. 

FDA Considers Second COVID-19 Booster Shot 

The FDA has begun reviewing data to potentially authorize a fourth dose of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for the fall. The authorization would depend on ongoing studies, which must show that a fourth dose would increase waning immunity and reduce the risk of severe disease. Read the story. 

CDC Urges Extra Precautions for People With Certain Medical Conditions

The CDC recently updated its guidance for people with certain medical conditions and those who are immunocompromised. Get the latest suggestions from the CDC. 

FDA Okays New Monoclonal Antibody Effective Against Omicron 

The FDA authorized Eli Lilly’s COVID-19 antibody drug for people aged 12 and older at risk of severe illness, adding a tool that has been found to work against the highly contagious Omicron variant. Learn more about the treatment. 

COVID-19 Vaccines Safe, Effective in Rheumatic Diseases 

The European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology Coronavirus Vaccine registry has shown that vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 provides people with inflammatory or noninflammatory rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease similar levels of protection with a similar adverse event profile as the general public. Read more about the findings. 

Get answers to the most common COVID-19 questions for people with arthritis.

 

In Other Arthritis News 

CDC Releases Updated Draft Guidance on Opioid Prescribing 

The CDC has released a draft update of its current Clinical Practice Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for pain management and is asking for public comment before moving forward. Read the new draft update. 

Download the Vim app today to discover a wealth of resources and support you need to manage your pain. 

Dietary Recommendations for Inflammatory Rheumatic Diseases 

Jérémie Sellam, MD, PhD, from Saint-Antoine Hospital in Paris, summarizes the key points of the first set of dietary recommendations of the French Society for Rheumatology.
Read the recommendations.

Find out how the Ultimate Arthritis Diet could help your joints feel better. 

Multiple Sleep Problems May Boost Heart Disease Risk by More Than 140% 

New research shows that having more than one sleep problem increased an individual’s risk of heart disease by up to 141% in a retrospective analysis. Learn more about this study. 

Physical Activity Impacts Quality of Life for People With Inflammatory Arthritis 

According to a lit review published recently in Arthritis Care & Research, physical activity may improve quality of life and self-reported function in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), spondyloarthritis (SpA) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Read the review. 

Get active without hurting your joints. Try the YES (Your Exercise Solution) tool to find movements based on your specific needs and ability level — with modifications developed and approved by physical therapists. Try YES today.

January 2022 Arthritis News Roundup

The Arthritis Foundation is your trusted source for arthritis-related news and COVID updates that affect people with arthritis. Here’s a wrap-up of the headlines from this past month. 

 

The Latest in COVID-19 News & Arthritis 

Arthritis Drugs May Reduce COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness 

According to limited research, evidence suggests that disease-modifying drugs used for arthritis may reduce the response of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. Read more. 

 Booster Shots Strongly Protect Against Severe Disease From Omicron Variant 

Vaccine boosters provide robust protection against severe disease from the omicron variant in the United States, according to three reports that use real-world data to show the shots are effective at keeping vaccinated people out of the hospital. Learn more. 

Has the Omicron Wave Peaked in the U.S.? 

Some experts believe COVID-19 cases are finally falling in the United States, welcome news after nearly two months of skyrocketing case counts driven by the highly infectious omicron variant. Find out more. 

U.S. Starts Shipping Free COVID-19 Tests Amid Omicron 

The U.S. Postal Service has begun shipping free at-home rapid COVID-19 tests after millions of orders were placed through a new federal website launched last week. Learn more. 

Immune Dysfunction Linked to Risk of Breakthrough COVID-19 Infection 

Although vaccines reduce the overall risk for COVID-19, regardless of immune status, patients with immune dysfunction are at a substantial risk for breakthrough infection versus those without, according to data. Read more. 

Association Between Three Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine and Symptomatic Infection  

Findings suggest that vaccination with three doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, compared with being unvaccinated and with receipt of 2 doses, was associated with protection against both the omicron and delta variants. Read the report. 

Patients Taking Rituximab Show Negligible Antibody Response to COVID-19 Vaccines 

Patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV) did not mount durable antibody responses to the delta variant after the standard two-dose regimen of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — and for those taking rituximab (Rituxan) as maintenance therapy, even a third dose wasn’t much help. Learn more. 

  

In Other Arthritis News 

Antidepressant for Osteoarthritis Doesn’t Meet Expectations 

Previous studies had shown that the antidepressant drug duloxetine (Cymbalta) helped relieve pain in OA patients, leading to recommendations that it be part of the clinical toolkit. But now comes a new trial questioning the benefit in real-world settings. Read the study.  

Ankylosing Spondylitis Patients Don’t Always Fit the Mold 

Even for a stereotypical patient, ankylosing spondylitis can take years to get diagnosed. If, like Christi Taylor-Gentry, you’re seen as an anomaly, the delay can be even more extreme. Read her story. 

A Statistician Explores Painfully Weak Evidence for Collagen  

“My knees aren’t nearly bad enough for surgery, but I’ve tried most everything else. A steroid injection provided relief, but only for a week. Physical therapy worked when I did the exercises religiously, but I’d lapsed in recent months. So, I thought I might try collagen supplements.” Learn more. 

FDA Approves Risankizumab (Skyrizi ) for Psoriatic Arthritis 

The FDA approved risankizumab-rzaa (Skyrizi) for a second indication — treating adults with active psoriatic arthritis — making it the second anti-interleukin 23 monoclonal antibody available to treat PsA. Read the announcement.  

Hip OA Burden Increasing in Almost All Countries 

The burden of hip osteoarthritis has increased globally in the past 30 years, with incidence and disability-adjusted life years rising in nearly all countries, according to data published in Arthritis Research & Therapy. Learn more. 

Machine Learning IDs Predictors of Treatment Response in RA  

Machine learning, integrating clinical and genomic data, can be used to predict methotrexate treatment response in early rheumatoid arthritis, according to a study published in Arthritis Care & Research. Read the study.    

University of Michigan Survey Seeks Input From Arthritis Patients Using Cannabis Products To Manage Pain  

Do you use CBD or other medical cannabis products to manage arthritis pain? Share your experience with researchers. Take the survey. 

December 2021 Arthritis News Roundup

The Arthritis Foundation is your trusted source for arthritis-related news and COVID updates that affect people with arthritis. Here’s a wrap-up of the headlines from this past month. 

The Latest in COVID-19 News & Arthritis 

Omicron Surge Brings Highest Rate of Coronavirus Cases 

The United States is reporting the highest seven-day average of new coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic as the highly transmissible omicron variant continues surging across the country. Read more. 

COVID Antiviral Drugs Are Here, Remain Scarce 

Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s molnupiravir are both oral antiviral pills that can be taken at home to keep patients out of the hospital. They’re meant to be taken within the first few days of having COVID-19, and they reduce the risk of hospitalization and death by up to 88% for Paxlovid and 30% for molnupiravir. Supply is tight, and the rollout varies from state to state. Learn more. 

CDC Recommends Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines Over J&J’s 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its recommendations for Covid-19 vaccines to make clear that shots made by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech are preferred over Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. Learn why. 

COVID Vaccine Booster Recommended for Teens 

Health officials authorized booster shots for 16- and 17-year-olds in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases, along with concerns about upcoming winter months. Read more. 

FDA Plans to Allow 12- to 15-Year-Olds to Receive Pfizer Boosters 

The Food and Drug Administration is planning to broaden eligibility for coronavirus vaccine booster shots, allowing 12- to 15-year-olds to receive third doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine. Learn more.

 

In Other Arthritis News 

FDA Adds Strict Safety Warnings on Arthritis Drugs 

The FDA has added its strictest warning to the labels of drugs from Pfizer, Eli Lilly and AbbVie belonging to a class of anti-inflammatory treatments called JAK inhibitors, citing risk of serious health issues and death in patients 50 and over. Read more. 

First JAK Inhibitor OK’d for Ankylosing Spondylitis 

The FDA approved tofacitinib (Xeljanz, Xeljanz XR) for treating active ankylosing spondylitis in adults. Tofacitinib is the first JAK inhibitor approved for ankylosing spondylitis. Learn more.

Upadacitinib (Rinvoq) Gains Psoriatic Arthritis as Second FDA-Approved Indication 

The FDA has approved a 15-mg extended-release tablet of upadacitinib (Rinvoq) for adults with psoriatic arthritis who had an inadequate response or intolerance to one or more anti-tumor necrosis factor drugs. The approval is the second indication given by the agency for the selective JAK inhibitor upadacitinib, which was previously approved for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 2019. Find out more. 

AbbVie Updates Upadacitinib Prescription Guidelines Amidst Safety Concerns 

AbbVie recently announced an amendment to its prescribing Information for upadacitinib. The drug, a selective JAK inhibitor, now states that it is intended for adults with moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis who have had inadequate response or intolerance to at least one TNF blocker. Read more. 

Mayo Clinic Researchers Use AI, Biomarkers to Personalize RA Treatment 

Treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis have often relied on trial and error. Now Mayo Clinic researchers are exploring the use of artificial intelligence and pharmacogenomics to predict how patients will respond to treatments, and to personalize care. Learn more. 

November 2021 Arthritis News Roundup 

The Arthritis Foundation is your trusted source for arthritis-related news and COVID updates that affect people with arthritis. Here’s a wrap-up of the headlines from this past month. 

 

American College of Rheumatology Research Highlights 

The 2021 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Convergence conference was recently held, gathering researchers, clinicians and patients alike for a week of knowledge sharing to advance treatments, understanding and approaches to managing various rheumatic diseases.  Read the highlights. 

Listen to the Live Yes! With Arthritis podcast episode showcasing all the exciting news from the 2021 ACR Convergence conference. 

 

The Latest in COVID-19 News & Arthritis 

COVID Vaccine Booster Approved for All Adults 

Health officials authorized booster shots for all U.S. adults in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases, along with concerns about upcoming holidays and winter months. Learn more about COVID vaccine boosters. 

Mask-Wearing Cuts New COVID-19 Cases by Half 

When people wear face masks to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, the number of new COVID-19 infections drops by 53%, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal. Read more about this study. 

Scientists Race to Find Out if Vaccines Stop Omicron 

Amid fears of another global surge of the coronavirus, scientists are scrambling to gather data on the new omicron variant, its capabilities and — perhaps most important — how effectively the current vaccines will protect against it. Read more about the omicron variant. 

 

In Other Arthritis News 

Serious Infection Hospitalizations Have Declined in Patients With PsA 

The rate of U.S. hospitalizations for three types of serious infections in patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) appears to have declined from 2012 to 2017. Learn more about these findings. 

Diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis? Check out our PsA portal to find out what you need to know to take control. 

Long-term Glucocorticoids in RA Linked to Increased Cardiovascular Risk 

Each month of glucocorticoid use in middle-aged patients with rheumatoid arthritis increases their odds of a major adverse cardiac event by 14%, independent of their baseline cardiovascular risk, according to a Veterans Administration study. Read more. 

Allopurinol Proves Noninferior to Febuxostat for Gout Relief 

Allopurinol may finally start to get the respect that many rheumatologists feel it deserves as a first-line, urate-lowering treatment for gout, following results of a randomized trial showing that it was noninferior to febuxostat both in the overall trial population and in patients with stage 3 chronic kidney disease. Learn more about this study. 

Find out how to live well with gout. View our gout webinar, led by renowned experts, 

to get information about causes, flares, remission and co-conditions. 

Vitamin D and Omega-3 Supplements Reduce Autoimmune Disease Risk 

Among nearly 26,000 adults enrolled in a randomized trial, five years of vitamin D supplementation was associated with a 22% reduction in risk for confirmed autoimmune diseases, and five years of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation was associated with an 18% reduction in confirmed and probable incident autoimmune diseases. Read more about these findings. 

Meet Olivia Kwan: One of Our Newest Foundation Sponsored Fellows!

Right now, access to care is not always guaranteed for arthritis patients, and the problem is even worse for children living with juvenile arthritis. A child with arthritis currently travels an average of 57 miles to be seen by a pediatric rheumatologist. The Arthritis Foundation  has been working to help close the gap on the nation’s rheumatologist shortage through our fellowship initiative. In 2018 we announced five fellowship awards; one of those grants was offered to the Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, which recently announced their fellowship has been awarded to Dr. Olivia Kwan.

Continue reading Meet Olivia Kwan: One of Our Newest Foundation Sponsored Fellows!

Survive & Thrive: Together in Isolation

It’s game on for Rob Gronkowski and Matt Iseman on the Live Yes! With Arthritis Podcast.

This was not your typical discussion about chronic pain and arthritis. There was laughing. There were singing and dancing. There was even juggling. It was just what we needed to cut through the isolation of the new coronavirus world. Former pro football player Rob Gronkowski – known by fans as “Gronk” – teamed up with Matt Iseman, host of American Ninja Warrior and a longtime friend of the Arthritis Foundation who has rheumatoid arthritis, to share their stories and some laughs on the Live Yes! With Arthritis Podcast. Together they will be hosting COVID-19 Celebrity Challenge – Survive & Thrive: Together in Isolation, presented by CBDMEDIC™ to benefit the Arthritis Foundation, on Facebook Live.

Continue reading Survive & Thrive: Together in Isolation

Meet Dr. Laura Cannon: One of Our Newest Foundation Sponsored Fellows

Because access to care is not always guaranteed, we’ve been working to help close the gap on the nation’s rheumatologist shortage through our fellowship initiative. As one of the five new 2020 fellowship grant awardees, Duke University announced their fellowship has been awarded to Dr. Laura Cannon.

Continue reading Meet Dr. Laura Cannon: One of Our Newest Foundation Sponsored Fellows