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
Delta Variant Causing States & Counties to Consider Mask Mandates
The highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 is causing concern across the U.S. as some states are seeing an increase in cases and hospitalizations. Some areas are considering mask mandates again, especially indoors.
Stay up to date with your local health department guidelines and check the Arthritis Foundation’s website regularly for COVID-19 & Arthritis FAQs.
Fauci: Immune Compromised May Need COVID-19 Vaccine Booster
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical advisor to the president, says people who are immune compromised may need a COVID-19 booster vaccine. He stated that patients with transplants, undergoing cancer chemotherapy and people with autoimmune diseases who are on immunosuppressant treatments may all need a vaccine booster to increase antibodies to the virus, especially as the Delta variant continues to spread. He also said revised mask guidance by top health officials is under active consideration. Get the details.
Autoimmune Rheumatic Disease Does Not Influence Immune Response Against COVID-19
Despite suspicions that patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (AIRD) may have worse immune responses against COVID-19, research indicates that this patient population did not differ from the general population in protective antibody responses, according to a study published in Springer.
Vaccine Hesitancy for Some With Rheumatic Diseases Weighs Heavy
Despite guidance from the American College of Rheumatology, some patients with rheumatic diseases are still very concerned about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Jeffrey Curtis, MD, MPH, a University of Alabama at Birmingham rheumatologist who leads the American College of Rheumatology COVID-19 vaccine task force, says the concerns are valid. However, the benefits to vaccination outweigh the risk of having severe COVID or the potential for disease flare. Read more.
For details on COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for people with arthritis, visit the Arthritis Foundation Care & Connect hub.
Study Suggests Lasting Immunity After COVID-19, With a Big Boost from Vaccination
After an infection with SARS-CoV-2, most people — even those with mild infections — appear to have some protection against the virus for at least a year, a recent follow-up study of recovered patients published in Nature suggests. What’s more, this and other research demonstrates that vaccinating these individuals substantially enhances their immune response and confers strong resistance against variants of concern, including the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant. Read the study.
In Other Arthritis News
FDA & Arthritis Foundation Make OA Priority Discussion
The Arthritis Foundation partnered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to host a workshop recently on developing new treatments with long-term benefits for OA. Learn more about what’s being done to tackle treatments for OA.
Taking a Step Toward Discovering the Cause of Joint Disease
A new study finds switches near GDF5 gene linked to knee osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia. This new information could lay the groundwork for targeted screenings and treatments. Read more.
AbbVie, Lilly Face Fresh Delays in FDA Approval for Expanded Use of Arthritis Drugs
JAK (janus kinases) inhibitors have come under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s scrutiny, after preliminary results from a safety trial of Pfizer’s JAK inhibitor drug earlier this year showed an increased risk of serious heart problems and cancer in patients. Learn more.
Association Between Psoriasis and RA
Mounting evidence suggesting an association between psoriasis and an increased risk of RA has underscored the need for prospective studies to enhance our understanding of the disease course and optimal treatments in patients who have both diseases. Read more.
Biologic Treatments Could Mitigate Psoriatic Arthritis Risk
A new study finds that treatment with biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDS) for people with psoriasis may lower the incidence of developing psoriatic arthritis later. Learn more.
Low-Dose Steroid Use in RA May Still Cause Risk for Vertebral Fractures
A new study reports that patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) being treated with low-dose glucocorticoids are still at risk for increased vertebral fractures. Read the report.
Learn more about corticosteroids and arthritis.
3D-printed Knee Implants Could Cut Surgery Times and Improve Arthritis Treatment
Known as Tailored Osteotomy for Knee Alignment (TOKA), this treatment improves the operative procedure and fit of high-tibial osteotomy (HTO) plates used to realign a patient’s knee, making them more stable, comfortable and better able to bear weight than existing generic plates. Learn more about the technique and how it also simplifies HTO surgery, making operations quicker and therefore safer.