Early Treatment Equals Better Results for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Alan Mozes writing for Healthday reported treating rheumatoid arthritis early may make for better outcomes, a new study suggests.
Patients who were treated within six months of developing the first signs of the autoimmune disease did better in the long run and were less likely to suffer early death, British researchers found.
The findings stem from an analysis of more than 600 patients who were initially diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) between 1990 and 1994. They were tracked for over 20 years.
Over the study time frame, investigators assessed key symptoms of RA, such as swollen and/or tender joints, and indications of disability. All deaths were also noted.
The research team found that patients who started treatment for RA within the first half-year after the first symptoms surfaced tended to have no greater levels of disability over a 20-year period than patients who required no treatment.
Comment: It is critical to be aggressive with this disease.
Another Treatment Modality For Rheumatoid Arthritis… Next
Pedometers increase activity and decrease fatigue in rheumatoid arthritis patients
Wiley writing for Eureka Alert reported providing pedometers, with and without providing step targets, to individuals with rheumatoid arthritis increased activity levels and decreased fatigue in a recent study.
In control patients who did not receive pedometers, average daily steps declined and there was no significant change in fatigue.The findings are important because fatigue can have a significant impact on quality of life for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, but effective and feasible treatments are limited.
“Because rheumatoid arthritis medications have only small effects on fatigue, it’s important for patients to have other ways to manage their fatigue,” said Dr. Patricia Katz, lead author of the Arthritis Care & Research study. “These results suggest that something as simple as increasing physical activity by walking can help.”
One simple task you can do to prevent rheumatoid arthritis
Brush And Floss To Prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis
Ruth Kava writing for the American council on Science and Health reported recent research published in Science Translational Medicine suggests how good dental care might well be an important factor in preventing the onset of RA.
The investigators, led by Dr. Maximilian Koenig from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, explained that a bacterium associated with periodontal disease — Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (Aa) — could be the initiator of the autoimmune feature of RA. The investigators noted that Aa, of all the other identified microbes, was the only one known that could produce the spectrum of antigens found in the joints of individuals with RA.
To investigate this possibility, they collected fluid from the gum regions of people with periodontal disease and from those of controls and analyzed them for the presence of altered proteins which are known to be immune system targets. In sum, people with periodontitis are more likely to have the Aa bacterial toxin and thus more likely to produce targets for the immune system. This in turn, links periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Comment: An interesting finding that confirms the research of others.
Reported in Unavadis, a large study of Swedish health registry data indicates that lymphoma risk remains elevated among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), despite evolution of treatment. Treatment advances for RA do not appear to have affected lymphoma risk. Records from 12,656 patients with RA from the Swedish Rheumatology Register linked to Swedish Cancer Register were compared with control patients for lymphoma incidence over time.
Comment: Disturbing since I would expect our newer treatments to decrease lymphoma risk.