Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Rheumatology for January 2012. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.
Disc Degeneration More Likely in Overweight, Obese Adults
MONDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight and obese adults are significantly more likely to have lumbar disc degeneration compared with those who have a normal body mass index (BMI), according to a study published online Jan. 27 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.
More Than 40 Percent of Adults With RA Are Inactive
THURSDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- More than 40 percent of adults with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are inactive, with lack of both strong motivation and belief in physical activity accounting for most of the excess inactivity, according to a study published online Jan. 25 in Arthritis Care & Research.
Overuse of Health Care Services Understudied
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Overuse of health care services in the United States is an understudied problem, with the majority of research limited to a few interventions, according to a review published in the Jan. 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Enriched Milk Powder Linked to Reduction in Gout Flare-Ups
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 25 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with gout, consumption of an enriched skim milk powder (SMP) is associated with a reduced number of flare-ups, compared with plain skim milk powder or lactose, according to a proof-of-concept study published online Jan. 23 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
Sex Differences Exist in Disease-Linked Pain Intensity
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Sex differences exist in specific disease-associated pain intensity, with women suffering a higher prevalence of pain for musculoskeletal, neuropathic, abdominal, and migraine-related conditions, according to a study published online Jan. 16 in The Journal of Pain.
Unemployed Have Poorer Mental and Physical Health
TUESDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Unemployed adults are about half as likely to have health insurance as employed individuals; have poorer mental and physical health, regardless of their insurance status; and are less likely to receive needed medical care and prescriptions, according to a January data brief issued by the National Center for Health Statistics.
Neuromodulators Reduce Pain in Rheumatoid Arthritis
FRIDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Neuromodulators are superior to placebo for reducing pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but treatment is associated with adverse events; whereas muscle relaxants show no benefit for improving pain in RA, according to two reviews published online Jan. 18 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
No Autoimmune Safety Signal for Quadrivalent HPV Vaccine
FRIDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- For women vaccinated with the quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV4), there is no evidence of an autoimmune safety signal, according to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of Internal Medicine.
Study IDs Optimal Interval Between Bone Density Tests
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The recommended bone mineral density (BMD) screening interval is approximately 16 years for postmenopausal women with normal BMD, 4.5 years for women with moderate osteopenia, and one year for women with advanced osteopenia, according to a study published in the Jan. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Increase in Incidence of Knee Arthroplasty in Finland
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of total knee arthroplasties (TKAs) and unicondylar knee arthroplasties (UKAs) increased in Finland from 1980 to 2006, with most of the increase occurring in those aged 50 to 59 years, according to a study published online Jan. 17 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Juvenile Arthritis Disease-State Cut-Off Values Established
TUESDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Using the Juvenile Arthritis Disease Activity Score (JADAS), disease-state cut-off values have been established for pediatric patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), according to research published online Jan. 9 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Tool Predicts Improved Function After Hip Arthroplasty
TUESDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Preoperative patient characteristics and radiographic assessment can be used to predict expected functional improvement for patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty (THA), according to a study published online Jan. 9 in Arthritis Care & Research.
Pain and Depressive Symptoms Linked in Arthritis
MONDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with psoriatic arthritis, there is a small bidirectional association between depressive symptoms and pain, but the strongest predictors of change in each symptom are the corresponding previous values, according to a study published online Jan. 9 in Arthritis Care & Research.
Hyaluronic Acid Similar to Placebo for Ankle Arthritis
MONDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A single intra-articular injection of hyaluronic acid was no more effective in treating osteoarthritis of the ankle than an injection of normal saline solution, according to a study published in the Jan. 4 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.
U.S. Health Care Expenditure Still Unevenly Distributed
FRIDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Health care expenditure in the United States is still unevenly distributed, with 1 percent of the population accounting for approximately 20 percent of expenditure in 2008 and 2009, according to a January statistical brief published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Gene Variant Identified in Families With Cold Urticaria
THURSDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The PLCG2 gene, which encodes phospholipase Cγ2, has been found to be associated with a dominantly inherited medical condition causing cold urticaria, immunodeficiency, and autoimmunity, according to a study published online Jan. 11 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
CDC: 2010 Saw Decrease in Age-Adjusted Death Rates
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- From 2009 to 2010, age-adjusted death rates decreased and life expectancy increased, according to a Jan. 11 report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rilonacept Reduces Gout Flares During Acute Urate Lowering Rx
MONDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The use of rilonacept significantly reduces gout flare-ups in the first few months following initiation of urate-lowering therapy (ULT), according to research published online Jan. 4 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Larger Trabecular Holes Explain Bone Fragility in Diabetes
MONDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The higher fracture risk observed in women with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) may be due, in part, to the larger average hole size and, consequently, the more porous nature of their trabecular bone microarchitecture, according to a study published in the January issue of Arthritis Care & Research.
Poorer Leg Muscle Quality Associated With Knee OA
FRIDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Muscle quality is significantly poorer in a biracial group of older patients with radiographic knee osteoarthritis (RKOA), regardless of their pain status, according to a study published in the January issue of Arthritis Care & Research.
Hand Bone Loss Predicts Radiographic Progression in RA
FRIDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Hand bone loss during the first year of treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with a high likelihood of radiographic progression, but it is not associated with long-term patient-reported outcomes, according to a study published in the January issue of Arthritis Care & Research.
Formula Diet Aids Weight Loss, Nutritional Gains in Obese
THURSDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A 16-week formula-based diet program significantly improves the nutritional status and bone health in obese patients with osteoarthritis, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Spinal Manipulation Superior to Medication for Neck Pain
THURSDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with acute and subacute nonspecific neck pain, symptoms improved with spinal manipulation therapy (SMT), medication, and home exercise, but spinal manipulation was found to be the most effective method for both short-term and long-term pain relief, according to a study published online Jan. 2 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Vibratory Sense Unimpaired in Knee-Injured Patients
THURSDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- For knee-injured patients, the vibratory perception threshold (VPT) is not impaired in those at high risk of knee osteoarthritis, according to a study published in the January issue of Arthritis Care & Research.
Usual Care Doesn't Stop Muscle Loss in Idiopathic Fracture
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Routine management of men with idiopathic vertebral fracture has no effect on observed muscle loss; and patients still have significantly lower physical functioning and quality of life than controls after six years of follow-up, according to a study published in the January issue of Arthritis Care & Research.
Epidural Steroids Temporarily Up Blood Glucose in Diabetes
TUESDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Epidural steroid injections (ESIs) significantly increase the blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes mellitus, but the effect lasts less than two days, according to a study published in the Jan. 1 issue of Spine.
Traditional, Disease Risk Factors ID'd in SLE Osteoporosis
TUESDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the etiology of osteoporosis is multifactorial, encompassing traditional risk factors and SLE-related factors; and there is an increased fracture risk, according to a review published in the January issue of Arthritis Care & Research.
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