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.


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