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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Washington, DC—In recent decades, the increased use of biologic agents has changed the way patients with rheumatoid arthritis are treated. At the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, James R. O’Dell, MD, Bruce Professor and Vice Chair, Internal Medicine, and Chief Division of Rheumatology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, discussed the impact these advances have on the management of rheumatoid arthritis.
In patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), fatigue is a significant predictor of high healthcare costs, reduced physical functioning, and poor quality of life. Fatigue has also been shown to persist in this patient population, even when disease remission is achieved, according to the results of a recent study.
Elderly patients (aged ≥60 years) with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may be less likely to receive treatment with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors than younger patients with RA because of concerns about comorbidities and adverse events. However, a new study by Soo-Kyung Cho, MD, PhD, Department of Rheumatology, Hanyang University Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues shows that elderly patients who are prescribed these drugs have retention rates comparable to those of younger patients.
Women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) had a 40% greater risk for mortality than women without RA during 36 years of follow-up in a longitudinal cohort study.
Although most patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are satisfied with their prescribed treatment, many would like to change various aspects of their medication, according to the results of an online patient survey.
Joint-specific differences in epigenet­ic imprinting and gene expression suggest that disease mechanisms in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may vary from joint to joint, which may possibly explain some of the varying drug responses among patients with RA, researchers have found.
London, United Kingdom—More than one-third of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who are still sexually active experience sexual dysfunction. And yet, this topic is rarely, if ever, addressed in discussions with rheumatologists, according to the investigators of a study presented at the 2016 European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress.
Patients with rheumatoid cachexia had significant improvement in lean muscle mass with creatine supplementation but no gains in strength or function in a new, small, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
Baricitinib, an oral Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor taken once daily, improved signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in patients who were refractory to other treatments, including tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors, or other biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), according to investigators in a placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial reported on recently in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Although the risk for infection is twice as high in patients with autoimmune rheumatic arthritis (RA) compared with age- and gender-matched controls, vaccination rates among this patient population are consistently low, according to Diana S. Sandler, MD, Division of Rheumatology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL.
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