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American College of Rheumatology, Nov. 5-9, 2011

Last Updated: November 14, 2011.

The 75th Annual Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology

The annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology was held from Nov. 5 to 9 in Chicago, and attracted more than 15,000 participants from around the world, including rheumatology specialists, physicians, scientists, and other health care professionals. The conference featured presentations focusing on the latest advances in the diagnosis and treatment of lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and gout.

Elena Losina, Ph.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues found a shift in the age of diagnosis of osteoarthritis to younger, middle-aged individuals.

"We conducted a comprehensive analysis by first estimating the prevalence of diagnosed knee osteoarthritis and then using these figures as input parameters for a computer simulation model of knee osteoarthritis to estimate the average age of diagnosis of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. We found that the age of diagnosis changed dramatically compared to 20 years ago. The mean age of diagnosis in the 1990s was 69 years, compared to 56 years based on data from 2000s," Losina said. "These data offer strong evidence for starting prevention efforts earlier in life, targeted to younger, obese persons and persons at risk for knee injuries."

Abstract No. 2510
Press Release

In another study, Jane E. Salmon, M.D., of the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City, and colleagues found that women with inactive lupus that were not flaring when they conceived were likely to have a successful and uncomplicated pregnancy.

"This is the first multicenter, prospective study to determine whether lupus increases the risk of pregnancy complications in women and their babies. Our 20 physicians and scientists at nine sites followed 333 women with lupus throughout their pregnancies during the eight-year course of this study," Salmon said. "Historically, women with lupus have been advised not to become pregnant because of risks to their own and their baby's health. We found that four out of five women whose lupus was stable and inactive when they conceived had uncomplicated, successful pregnancies."

In addition, the investigators found that less than four percent of these women had severe flares of lupus during pregnancy.

"The results of this study should reassure women with lupus who are contemplating pregnancy that if they wait until their lupus is inactive, they are likely to have successful pregnancies," Salmon added.

Abstract No. 1707
Press Release

Daniel Prieto-Alhambra, M.D., Ph.D., of the Hospital del Mar and Municipal Institute of Medical Research in Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues found that fractures and falls were more common among postmenopausal women with osteoarthritis as compared to those without osteoarthritis.

"Postmenopausal women with osteoarthritis have a 20 percent higher risk of fractures and experience almost 30 percent more falls than those without the disease. In addition, our data suggests that the observed increase in risk among osteoarthritis is mainly due to their described increase in fall rates," Prieto-Alhambra said. "Patients with osteoarthritis are at increased risk for falls, and this leads to an increased risk of fractures. Fall prevention strategies might potentially change this and should be considered in osteoarthritis patient's management."

Abstract No. 829
Press Release

ACR: Vitamin D Beneficial in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

MONDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), vitamin D supplementation is beneficial and modulates T regulatory cells (Tregs); and immunization with interferon-α-kinoid (IFNα-K) is safe and shows positive results for patients with SLE, according to two studies being presented at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, held from Nov. 5 to 9 in Chicago.

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