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Rheumatoid Arthritis

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.
Smoking is a risk factor for a wide variety of conditions. In a recent study, investigators found that smoking is associated with more early evidence of interstitial lung disease than in healthy patients without rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Although the obesity rate has been steadily increasing since the 1960s, with 1 in 3 adults currently classified as obese in the United States, Maria M. Wertli, MD, PhD, Research Fellow, Horten Centre for Patient Oriented Research and Knowledge Transfer, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Zurich, Switzerland, and colleagues assert that the impact of being overweight and obese on the working population is yet to be wholly realized.
Traditionally, patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have been treated with immunosuppressive drugs, such as corticosteroids, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs; eg, methotrexate), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but in the last 1 to 2 decades, biologic DMARDs-consisting of several cytokine inhibitors and other immune modulators-have been added to this list.
A subanalysis of the Bristol-Myers Squibb-funded APPRAISE study suggests medium-or high-level ultrasonography can determine whether patients treated with the company's rheumatoid arthritis medication abatacept have an early response.
Q fever, caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii, is rare-approximately 40 cases are reported annually in the United States, and it occurs in <5% of patients with acute infection.
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