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. 

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