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Rheumatoid Arthritis News

Related terms: Arthritis, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, RA, Rheumatoid

Could Oral Contraceptives Help Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Posted 28 Aug 2015 by

FRIDAY, Aug. 28, 2015 – Oral contraceptives – also known as birth control pills – may ease pain and improve functioning in women with rheumatoid arthritis, a small German study suggests. "Women with inflammatory arthritis who were currently using oral contraceptives or who had used them in the past, presented with better patient-reported outcomes within the first two years of arthritis," the study authors wrote. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body's immune system attacks the joints, resulting in pain and swelling. About 1.3 million people in the United States have rheumatoid arthritis, and of these, nearly 75 percent are women, according to the American College of Rheumatology. Dr. Waseem Mir, a rheumatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, noted, "We have to take the findings of the study with great caution." Mir was not involved in the current ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Plan B, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Mirena, Sprintec, NuvaRing, Implanon, Provera, Nexplanon, Depo-Provera, Tri-Sprintec, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Yasmin, Microgestin Fe 1/20, Loestrin 24 Fe, Ortho Evra, Lutera, TriNessa, Mononessa

Knee Replacement May Ease Pain for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

Posted 30 Jul 2015 by

THURSDAY, July 30, 2015 – Knee replacement surgery can temporarily return the joint to an earlier, better level of function in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, new research suggests. The surgery "acts like a time machine" for these patients, said study senior author Kaleb Michaud, an associate professor of internal medicine in the division of rheumatology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, in Omaha. "It's a very important treatment option, and our study is really about showing how their lives improved afterwards," Michaud said. Most studies of knee replacement surgery focus on patients with osteoarthritis, the "wear-and-tear" form of arthritis. This kind of arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage, the cushiony material at the ends of bones. On the other hand, patients who have the autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis experience painful inflammation and swelling ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Knee Joint Replacement

Severe Burns May Trigger Dangerous Shifts in Gut Germs

Posted 8 Jul 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, July 8, 2015 – People who suffer severe burns may experience potentially dangerous changes in the 100 trillion bacteria inside their gastrointestinal (GI) tract, a small study suggests. At issue is the breakdown of good and bad bacteria typically found inside a healthy person's GI tract. Researchers from the health sciences division of Loyola University Chicago in Maywood, Ill., observed that after a severe burn, four patients experienced a big increase in the number of potentially harmful bacteria and a corresponding drop in relatively beneficial bacteria. The potentially harmful bacteria are part of a family that includes E. coli and salmonella. Such an imbalance, known as "dysbiosis," has been linked to many conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, study lead author Dr. Mashkoor Choudhry, a professor of surgical ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Obesity, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Gastrointestinal Disorders, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Burns - External, Burns, Nitrogen Retention

Health Tip: Is Arthritis Affecting Your Hands?

Posted 7 Jul 2015 by

-- Arthritis in the joints of the hands can be painful and make many daily tasks difficult. The American Academy of Orthopaedics says symptoms may include: Joint pain ranging from dull to burning. Pain tends to be worse after hand and finger use, and in the morning. Swelling of the joints. Sensations of grating, grinding or looseness of hand joints. Development of cysts on the hands and fingers. Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Gouty Arthritis

Drug for Rheumatoid Arthritis May Also Help Ease Vitiligo

Posted 24 Jun 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2015 – It's only been tested in one patient so far, but researchers report that a drug for rheumatoid arthritis may be a promising treatment for the discoloring skin condition known as vitiligo. Vitiligo is characterized by a disfiguring loss of pigmentation in skin. Most notably, pop star Michael Jackson suffered from the disorder much of his adult life. According to the Yale University researchers, current treatments are limited to steroid creams and light therapy, neither of which is reliably effective. "Current treatments for vitiligo can be cumbersome, expensive and have side effects, besides being less than optimal in results," said Dr. Doris Day, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She added that the downsides of vitiligo go beyond the cosmetic. "We know that appearance has a powerful impact on self esteem, and having white blotches that ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Vitiligo, Xeljanz, Diagnosis and Investigation, Tofacitinib

Study Shows Arthritis' Toll on Work, Social Life

Posted 4 Jun 2015 by

THURSDAY, June 4, 2015 – Having arthritis and other chronic health conditions can often harm a person's social life and ability to work, a new study finds. About one in seven American adults has arthritis and at least one other chronic health problem, according to the study authors. The researchers found that having a number of chronic health conditions was linked to work disability, significant mental distress, and limitations on social activities. The negative effects were even greater if one of the chronic conditions was arthritis. Among adults with one chronic condition, those with arthritis were much more likely than those without arthritis to have work disability (16 percent versus 9 percent), according to Jin Qin and colleagues at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Social activities were also more difficult for people with arthritis, the findings showed. Nearly ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis

Immune System Genes May Change With the Seasons: Study

Posted 12 May 2015 by

TUESDAY, May 12, 2015 – When the seasons change, your immune system response may also change, British researchers report. These findings might explain why conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease are worse in the winter than in the summer, the new study finds. The researchers from the University of Cambridge analyzed genes from more than 16,000 people worldwide, including those from both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. They found that the activity of nearly one-quarter of the genes differed according to the time of the year. Some are more active in winter and some are more active in summer, the research revealed. Seasons also affect our immune cells, and the composition of our blood and fat, according to the study. Findings were published May 12 in the journal Nature Communications. It's been known that there are seasonal variations in a number of conditions, ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Heart Disease, Psychiatric Disorders, Immunosuppression

Gene Discoveries Could Help Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Posted 28 Apr 2015 by

TUESDAY, April 28, 2015 – Genetic variations may hold clues to rheumatoid arthritis – suggesting not only who will develop the painful condition, but also predicting its severity and even who might die from it, a new study says. "Genetic factors predisposing to disease, to disease severity, and response to treatment will allow tailoring treatment to individual patients' needs," said lead researcher Dr. Sebastien Viatte, a research fellow at the University of Manchester in England. Using data from several sources on thousands of patients in the United Kingdom, researchers found that gene mutations at a location on a chromosome called HLA-DRBl were associated with rheumatoid arthritis severity and the response to treatment with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor drugs. This study, Viatte said, is a potentially important first step toward personalized medicine for patients with the ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Methotrexate, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Plaquenil, Hydroxychloroquine, Rituxan, Imuran, Azathioprine, Cimzia, Orencia, Leflunomide, Arava, Rituximab, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Simponi, Otezla, Xeljanz, Infliximab

Some Arthritis Meds Cost Seniors Thousands Annually

Posted 21 Apr 2015 by

TUESDAY, April 21, 2015 – Arthritis medications known as biologic disease-modifying drugs can cost Medicare patients more than $2,700 in co-payments a year, a new report finds. Researchers say the tab is an immense burden on patients with disabling conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic disorder that affects an estimated 1.3 million Americans. Biologic anti-rheumatic medications – which include drugs such as adalimumab (Humira), anakinra (Kineret) and etanercept (Enbrel) – have allowed patients to gain better control of rheumatoid arthritis when taken early in the course of disease, the researchers explained. But some of the new drugs top $20,000 annually, according to the April 21 online report in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology. "Many patients face a growing and unacceptable financial burden for access to treatment," said study lead author Dr. Jinoos Yazdany of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Methotrexate, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Plaquenil, Hydroxychloroquine, Rituxan, Imuran, Azathioprine, Orencia, Leflunomide, Arava, Rituximab, Otezla, Xeljanz, Infliximab, Adalimumab, Etanercept, Kineret

'Ground Zero' Workers at Risk of Autoimmune Diseases: Study

Posted 19 Mar 2015 by

THURSDAY, March 19, 2015 – Recovery workers who toiled at the World Trade Center disaster site may face a heightened risk of rheumatoid arthritis and similar autoimmune diseases, a new study suggests. The findings, reported online March 16 in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology, add to the list of potential health effects seen among responders to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York City. Past studies have found increased rates of respiratory diseases, such as asthma and chronic bronchitis, as well as some forms of cancer. The new study is the first to find an increased risk of certain autoimmune disorders, the researchers say. Autoimmune diseases arise when the immune system launches an abnormal attack on the body's own tissue. The conditions seen in this study – which also included lupus and systemic sclerosis – affect joints, muscles and connective tissue throughout the body. ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Autoimmune Disorders

Tropical Virus Symptoms Can Mimic Rheumatoid Arthritis: Study

Posted 20 Feb 2015 by

FRIDAY, Feb. 20, 2015 – The mosquito-borne chikungunya virus causes joint pain and swelling similar to rheumatoid arthritis, which can make diagnosis difficult, a new study says. Chikungunya has spread in parts of the Caribbean and Central and South America. Though still rare, the virus is increasingly being seen in the United States, according to the researchers. Adding to the potential confusion in making a diagnosis, the researchers also found that blood tests of patients with chikungunya can have similar results to people with rheumatoid arthritis. In many people, chikungunya infection causes fever, rash, and joint pain in the hands, feet, knees, neck and elbows. The fever and rash typically ease in seven to 10 days. But joint pain lasts for 12 to 15 months in up to 60 percent of patients. In some patients, joint pain lasts for up to three years, according to the researchers. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chikungunya Virus Infection

Mercury in Seafood May Raise Risk of Autoimmune Diseases in Women: Study

Posted 10 Feb 2015 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 – The mercury found in some seafood may be linked to autoimmune disorders among women of childbearing age, new research suggests. Autoimmune diseases develop when the body's immune response goes awry and starts to attack healthy cells. Such diseases include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and "Sjogren's syndrome." All told, these diseases affect roughly 50 million Americans, most of whom are women, the University of Michigan researchers said. "We don't have a very good sense of why people develop autoimmune disorders," study author Emily Somers said in a university news release. "A large number of cases are not explained by genetics," she added, "so we believe studying environmental factors will help us understand why autoimmunity happens and how we may be able to intervene to improve health outcomes. In our study, ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Autoimmune Disorders, Sjogren's Syndrome, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Lupus Erythematosus, Mercury Poisoning

Smokers May Get Less Benefit From Drugs for Arthritic Back Pain

Posted 10 Feb 2015 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 – Smoking may hamper the effects of certain drugs used to treat inflammatory arthritis in the lower back, a new study from Switzerland says. Researchers from University Hospital Zurich looked at how 700 people with this type of arthritis responded to treatment with a class of drugs called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors. About two-thirds of the patients were smokers. After one to two years of treatment, the drugs were significantly less effective in smokers. The difference was particularly apparent among patients who had higher levels of an inflammatory marker called C-reactive protein at the start of the study. Former smokers did not experience reduced effectiveness from the drugs, according to the study. The research only saw an association between smoking and the drugs' benefits, not a cause-and-effect relationship. The results were published online ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Smoking, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Cimzia, Simponi, Infliximab, Adalimumab, Etanercept, Golimumab, Certolizumab

Certain Infections Linked to Reduced Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Posted 5 Feb 2015 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 5, 2015 – People with recent gut, urinary tract or genital infections may be less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, new research says. The findings are "particularly interesting" in light of recent research suggesting that digestive system bacteria may play a role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis, researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, said. The study included almost 6,500 people from Sweden. Their average age was 52. About 70 percent were women. More than 2,800 people in the group were diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis between 1996 and 2009. According to the study, having a gut infection within the preceding two years was associated with a lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis by 29 percent. A urinary tract infection was associated with a 22 percent lower risk, while a genital infection was associated with a 20 percent lower risk. ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Bacterial Infection

Weight Could Influence Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief

Posted 26 Nov 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 26, 2014 – People with rheumatoid arthritis may be more likely to achieve remission if they maintain a healthy body weight, according to new research. The study found that those who were heaviest had almost 65 percent reduced odds of disease remission. Being underweight also lowered the odds of remission. "Medication for rheumatoid arthritis is not as effective on the overweight population," said Dr. Susan Goodman, the study's lead author and a rheumatologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Findings from the new research were presented earlier this month at the American College of Rheumatology annual meeting in Boston. Studies presented at meetings are generally considered preliminary until they've been published in a peer-reviewed journal. It's also important to note that while this study found a link between weight and rheumatoid arthritis ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Rheumatoid Arthritis

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