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April 2008 Briefing - Rheumatology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Rheumatology for April 2008. 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.

Physicians Lack Feedback on Accuracy of Diagnoses

TUESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Clinical diagnosis is a largely open-loop system in which there is no systematic way for clinicians to obtain feedback on the outcome of their diagnoses, according to an article published in a supplement to the May issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

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Palliative Care Can Improve Patient Care Most, Poll Finds

MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- In an international poll conducted by BMJ to determine which area of health care would enable doctors to make the greatest difference to patients, palliative care for non-malignant disease received the most votes, the BMJ Group announced at the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Health Care in Paris this week.

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FDA Approves New Biologic Drug to Treat Crohn's Disease

WEDNESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced this week the approval of Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) for the treatment of moderate to severe Crohn's disease in patients who have not responded to conventional therapies.

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Since Medicare Part D, Seniors Less Likely to Skip Meds

TUESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- While the Medicare Part D drug program appears to have had some success in reducing the financial burden of medications for seniors, many report confusion over their benefits and persistent financial difficulties, according to two articles published in the April 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Two Arthritis Drugs Found to be Cost-Effective

TUESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors etanercept and adalimumab are more likely to be cost-effective for treating rheumatoid arthritis in the Medicare population than infliximab, according to research published in the April Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Mouse Model Sheds Light on Scleroderma Lung Damage

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Transforming growth factor Β may play a key role in determining fibrosis after epithelial lung injury, and lung fibroblasts may regulate the response of alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) to injury, offering insight into factors underlying scleroderma-associated pulmonary fibrosis (SSc-PF), according to research in the April Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Laser Lithotripsy Fragments Salivary Stones In Vitro

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Laser lithotripsy can effectively fragment salivary stones in an in vitro model, suggesting that lasers may be useful for the management of salivary stones in humans, according to research published online April 15 in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Photodynamic Treatment for Arthritis Promising

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Photodynamic treatment of inflamed joints reduces the severity of arthritis in a mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis, according to an article published online April 15 in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Work Disability Caused by Arthritis is Common

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of work disability is 35 percent among individuals who have had rheumatoid arthritis for at least 10 years, but this may be an improvement from a prevalence of 50 percent reported in a 1987 study, according to an article published in the April 15 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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ISA247 Safely Reduces Psoriasis Area, Severity

FRIDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- A new drug for moderate to severe psoriasis has been shown to be safe and effective for 24 weeks, according to study findings published in the April 19 issue of The Lancet.

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Upsurge in U.S. Patients with Hip, Knee Replacements

FRIDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- The number of primary knee and hip replacements performed in the United States is increasing at a steep rate, requiring that the health care community take steps to prepare for this demand and manage its economic burden, according to a report in the April 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Risk of Lumbar Degeneration After Spinal Fusion Varies

MONDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- In patients undergoing low lumbar spinal fusions, floating L4/5 fusions are more likely to result in degenerative changes in adjacent segments than L4/S1 or L5/S1 fusions, according to an article published in Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques in April.

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Individualized Health Care Budgets Improve Care

FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- The U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS) should allow patients individual control of their health care budgets, an approach that has been shown in pilot studies to improve outcomes and patient satisfaction in a cost-effective manner, according to an analysis published April 12 in BMJ.

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Consider Health Literacy Level When Writing for Patients

THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Giving patients clearly written educational materials that convey key messages without resorting to jargon is an important part of engaging patient compliance with treatment and can contribute to health literacy, according to an article published in the April issue of Chest.

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Genetic Loci Linked to Psoriasis Identified

THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- A number of new genetic loci associated with psoriasis have been identified, with the class I region of the major histocompatibility complex showing the strongest association, according to study findings published April 4 in PLoS Genetics.

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Optimal Range of Motion Found After Knee Replacement

WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- After total knee arthroplasty with a posterior cruciate-retaining prosthesis, a range of motion between 128 and 132 degrees is associated with an optimal outcome, according to research published in the April 1 issue of the Journal of Joint & Bone Surgery.

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Doctors Vote on the Ways to Make Biggest Difference

WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- The BMJ has begun accepting votes on which areas of health care allow doctors to make the biggest difference to patient care, with a shortlist of six areas each being championed by eminent doctors and researchers. The winning topic will gain special coverage in the BMJ and the BMJ Group's 24 other specialist journals and online education products.

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Psoriasis Linked to Multiple Comorbidities

WEDNESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with psoriasis are likely to have comorbidities that should be assessed by their primary health care providers and addressed with health screening tests, preventative exams and referrals, according to a clinical consensus statement from the National Psoriasis Foundation published in April in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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