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American College of Rheumatology, Oct. 25-30

Last Updated: November 04, 2013.

The 77th Annual Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology

The annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) was held from Oct. 25 to 30 in San Diego and attracted approximately 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 arthritis as well as other rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.

In one study, Bernard Ng, M.D., of the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues found that the odds of postoperative infection between patients who stopped disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs or biologics prior to surgery and those who did not were statistically similar.

"Our study suggests that the current practice of recommending discontinuation of immunosuppressive drugs for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis before an elective surgery may be overly cautious," said Ng. "However, more research needs to be done to ascertain if our results are applicable to different types of surgery and different combinations of immunosuppressive therapies."

Abstract No. 807

In another study, Seoyoung Kim, M.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues found an association between dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DDP4) inhibitor therapy and a decreased risk of incident autoimmune disease.

"The most important message is that we found a decreased risk of autoimmune disease in type 2 diabetes patients who started therapy with a DPP4 inhibitor drug compared to those who started therapy with only a non-DDP4 inhibitor," said Kim. "To date, we still do not know the exact etiology for most autoimmune diseases. We do not really have a medication or intervention to prevent autoimmune disease. While we need more research to confirm our finding, our results suggest possible pharmacological pathways for the prevention and/or treatment of autoimmune disease."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, Novartis, Boehringer Ingelheim, AstraZeneca, Eli Lily, and Amgen.

Abstract No. 2658

In an additional study, Seoyoung Kim, M.D., and colleagues found that the vast majority of patients aged 9 to 26 with and without autoimmune diseases did not receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, despite the high efficacy of the vaccine in preventing cervical cancer and its clinically acceptable safety profile.

"Patients at high risk of persistent HPV infection should be encouraged to receive the vaccine, although future study is needed to determine the effectiveness of HPV vaccine in patients with autoimmune diseases, particularly those on immunosuppressive drugs," said Kim.

One author disclosed a financial relationship with Pfizer.

Abstract No. 848

Gerald Levy, M.D., of the Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center in California, and colleagues found that patients who achieved a serum uric acid of <6 mg/dL, consistent with the new ACR guidelines for control of gout, demonstrated a 37 percent reduction in progression of renal disease.

"Our study shows that treating patients with hyperuricemia and gout not only reduces the likelihood of gout attacks but has a significant beneficial impact on the kidneys by slowing progressive renal function decline," said Levy. "It gives the clinician one more reason for patient compliance when discussing drug therapy with the patient. Future studies will help determine if asymptomatic hyperuricemia without actual gout flares should be treated."

Abstract No. 857

ACR: Collaboration May Up Facebook Awareness of Lupus

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Partnering with a lupus foundation is associated with increased patient awareness and participation in Facebook chats about lupus and related health issues, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, held from Oct. 25 to 30 in San Diego.

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ACR: Rheumatologists Feel Need to 'Bend' Ethics for Patients

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Rheumatologists in the United States often feel that they need to compromise their ethics to obtain tests and treatments for their patients, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, held from Oct. 25 to 30 in San Diego.

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ACR: Maternal Lupus Linked to Autism in Offspring

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Children whose mothers have lupus are at higher risk of being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and being diagnosed at an earlier age, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, held from Oct. 25 to 30 in San Diego.

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ACR: TNF Inhibitors Linked to Reduced Risk of ACS in RA

TUESDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), tumor necrosis factor inhibitor (TNFi) treatment correlates with reductions in the risk of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) and myocardial infarction (MI), according to two studies presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, held from Oct. 25 to 30 in San Diego.

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ACR: Early Damage Predicts Future Damage, Death in SLE

TUESDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), early damage predicts future damage and mortality; in addition, U.S. patients with SLE have poor medication adherence, according to two studies presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, held from Oct. 25 to 30 in San Diego.

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ACR: Physical Activity Improves Quality of Life in Osteoarthritis

MONDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Greater physical activity is linked with increased quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) in patients with osteoarthritis, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, held from Oct. 25 to 30 in San Diego.

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ACR: Pregabalin OK for FM Pain in Patients on Antidepressants

MONDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Pregabalin may be added to reduce pain of fibromyalgia in patients who are taking antidepressants for comorbid depression, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, held from Oct. 25 to 30 in San Diego.

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