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Baseline characteristics in both cohorts of patients were comparable in terms of sex, age, comorbidities, drugs administered, alcoholism (or alcohol-related disorders), tobacco use, and obesity. Both groups had more women than men, and the most common age group was 40 to 59 years. The most common comorbidity was hypertension, which was observed in >20% of patients; followed by hyperlipidemia in 17% of patients; anxiety in 11%; diabetes in 10.6%; strokein 6.9%; depression in 4.9%; and congestive heart failure in 1% of the patients.

Treatment with abatacept plus a prednisone taper significantly reduced the rate of relapse and improved duration of remission compared with placebo in patients with giant cell arteritis (GCA) who achieved remission with abatacept plus prednisone.

The majority of patients affected by systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and/or antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) are women of childbearing age. Personal relationships and family planning among these patients suffer because of gaps in the management of reproductive concerns (eg, pregnancy’s effect on maternal disease, effects of the disease on the fetus, and medication safety during pregnancy and breast-feeding) and other women’s health issues.

Approximately 1 in 4 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) included in a recent study had resting specific electrocardiogram (ECG) abnormalities that predict future cardiovascular events, including myocardial infarction, sudden death, and congestive heart failure (Al Rayes H, et al. Arthritis Res Ther. 2017;19:31).

In their effort to study the percentage of patients with AS and nr-axSpA who respond to treatment with NSAIDs as proposed by ASAS/EULAR recommendations, the researchers provided 100 patients (50 with AS and 50 with nr-axSpA) with a continuous regimen of NSAID therapy at the maximum recommended or tolerated dose for 4 weeks and then prospectively compared their responses.

Washington, DC—In late January 2017, experts congregated on Capitol Hill on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and the Arthritis Foundation to hold a congressional briefing titled Arthritis 101, according to a press statement by the ACR.

Currently, there are no cures available for patients with Sjögren’s syndrome, although there are some therapeutic options available for the prevention of complications and improvement of symptoms associated with the condition.

Two draft guidances released by the FDA in January 2017 explain the regulations in place for pharmaceutical manufacturers and decision-makers within the healthcare field (eg, payers, formulary committees) that share healthcare economic information (HCEI), and how communications should be handled in the industry with regard to drugs and devices that meet FDA labeling requirements, respectively.1,2

Results of a large phase 3 study show that secukinumab does not offer any advantage over abatacept for patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who lack or have a suboptimal response to tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors (Blanco FJ, et al. Arthritis Rheumatol. Feb 19, 2017. Epub ahead of print). Secukinumab was more effective than placebo, but on a variety of measures of efficacy, responses to abatacept were numerically higher than those to secukinumab. The lack of a benefit over abatacept led to premature closing of the trial.

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