Could Beer Cut a Woman’s Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk?

So what am I doing inside this bar that could have something to do with arthritis…

Could a Few Beers a Week Cut a Woman’s Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk?

Kathleen Doheny writing in Healthday reported having a beer a few times a week might help women avoid painful rheumatoid arthritis, a new study suggests.

The disease, which affects women more than men, is a form of arthritis linked to immune system dysfunction. According to the Arthritis Foundation, over 1.5 million Americans suffer from the disease, which typically begins in the 20s or 30s.

However, “Long-term, moderate alcohol drinking may reduce future rheumatoid arthritis development in women”, said lead researcher Dr. Bing Lu, an assistant professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, in Boston.

Overall, moderate use of any form of alcohol reduced the risk by about 21 percent, but moderate beer drinking — two to four beers per week — cut women’s odds for the disease by nearly a third, the study found.

The findings are published in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Comment: Interesting but don’t take this a as a license to overdo it.

What does this x-ray say about the need for surgery… the answer could be very important to you!


Early X-Ray Changes Signal Later Joint Surgery


Nancy Walsh writing for Medpage Today reported on a study which showed that rapid x-ray progression during the first year of rheumatoid arthritis strongly predicts the need for orthopedic surgery later in the course of disease, a researcher said here.


A clinically significant change in Larsen radiographic score of 4 units during the first 12 months of disease was associated with an 80% increased risk of subsequently having surgery on the small joints of the hands and feet and a 50% greater chance of needing major surgery on the knee or hip, reported Lewis Carpenter BsC of the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield.

“This helps build the case for early treatment in rheumatoid arthritis and adds to the argument for a therapeutic window of opportunity,” he said at the annual meeting of the British Society for Rheumatology.

Comment: Sobering news and a clarion call for aggressive management.

Here’s how to die early if you are so inclined… next

Excessive arguing with family and friends may lead to early death


Karen Kaplan writing in the Chicago Tribune reported people who frequently argue with their family members and friends are more likely to die young than people who are able to go with the flow, a new study has found.


Middle-aged adults who frequently fought with their husband or wife were more than twice as likely to die at a relatively young age compared to people who rarely fought, according to a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.


Frequent fights with friends were even more hazardous – people who fell into this category were 2.6 times more likely to die prematurely than people who got along with their pals. Worst of all were persistent fights with neighbors, the researchers found. These types of argumentative people were more than three times more likely to die prematurely than the go-with-the-flow types.


Even when fights didn’t break out into the open, simply worrying about friends or loved ones or stewing over their demands could be enough to shorten one’s life. People who “always” or “often” fretted about their spouse were almost twice as likely to die during the course of the study compared to those who seldom fretted. In addition, those who expended lots of negative mental energy on their children were 55% more likely to die prematurely compared to those who didn’t worry about their kids very often.


All of these associations between stressful social relations and the risk of early death were stronger for men than for women, the researchers found. They were also stronger for people who were not working outside the home.


Comment: I have one thing to say… Chill.

The orthopedic surgeon says you need a knee arthroscopy for your arthritis. Should you do it? The answer next.


Arthroscopy of the knee joint for arthrosis: No benefit detectable


Reported in Medical Xpress, this article… The benefit of therapeutic arthroscopy with lavage and possible debridement for the treatment of arthrosis of the knee joint is not proven. There was no hint, indication or proof of benefit of therapeutic arthroscopy in comparison with non-active comparator interventions, e.g. sham surgery, for any patient-relevant outcome. From the active comparator therapies, only the injection of glucocorticoids into the knee joint produced worse results than arthroscopy for the outcome “global assessment of the symptoms of gonarthrosis”.


This was the result of the final report published by the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) on 12 May 2014. A new study, in which strengthening exercises under the supervision of a physical therapist were used as comparator therapy, did not change this assessment.


Comment: This is confirmation of earlier studies done in the U.S. demonstrating the lack of benefit of this procedure for osteoarthritis of the knee.

Psoriatic arthritis. A heartbreak for the patient… and maybe others as well… next

Psoriasis Causes More Depression and Anxiety to Family Members

Shereen Lehman writing for Reuters reported a new study found that psoriasis patients and the people around them, mainly family members, suffer from more depression and anxiety than families not affected by the disease.

Dr. Eliseo Martinez-Garcia, lead author of the study from Virgen de las Nieves University Hospital in Granada, Spain, highlighted that while most research proved that psoriasis patients were more susceptible to anxiety and depression than those who didn’t have the condition, this new study was the first to reveal how the condition affected the quality of life of the people surrounding the patient.

“The impact of the dermatological conditions on patients’ cohabitants has been largely ignored,” Martinez-Garcia told Reuters Health.

The researchers recruited 130 adults to participate in the study; 34 were diagnosed with psoriasis, 49 reported living with the psoriasis patient, and 47 were healthy individuals who didn’t have a friend or a family member with psoriasis. The participants answered a 10-item survey to evaluate their depression and anxiety levels.

After careful analysis of the responses, results showed that 88 percent of the housemates of people with psoriasis reported low scores on the quality of their lives. Twenty-five percent of them also admitted that they felt heavily affected by the disease while only a few said that the disease did not affect them.

Comment: Although we’ve come a long way with this disease, we still have much to do.

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