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. 

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