August 2006 Briefing - Rheumatology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Rheumatology for August 2006. 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.

Molecule May Be Target for Inflammatory Diseases

THURSDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Platelet function is critical in an autoimmune kidney disease, and an adhesion molecule may be a good target for drugs to treat inflammatory diseases, according to two studies published in the September issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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No Increased Cancer Risk for Biologic Arthritis Drugs

THURSDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Rheumatoid arthritis patients taking tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) blockers, such as etanercept, do not have an increased risk of cancer compared with those taking methotrexate, according to a study in the September issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Early Mycophenolate Mofetil Treatment Improves Alveolitis

FRIDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Early treatment with mycophenolate mofetil coupled with low-dose corticosteroids may be a safe and effective alternative to cyclophosphamide in patients with recently diagnosed diffuse scleroderma-associated alveolitis, according to a study published in the August issue of Rheumatology.

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Mortality Linked to BMI in Two National Cohort Studies

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Two trials, one involving more than 500,000 Americans and the other over one million Koreans, suggest that even modest amounts of excess weight in middle age is associated with a higher risk of mortality. Results of both studies are published in the Aug. 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Catastrophic Antiphospholipid Syndrome Mortality Assessed

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke, cerebral hemorrhage and encephalopathy are major causes of death in patients with catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome (CAPS), and the risk of death increases in those with systemic lupus erythematosus, according to a study published in the August issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Primary Sjogren's Syndrome Linked to Lymphoma Risk

MONDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with primary Sjogren's syndrome have a higher lymphoma risk than patients who do not have the syndrome, researchers report in the August issue of Rheumatology.

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Granulocytopenia in Lupus Often Due to Drug Toxicity

FRIDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus who develop severe granulocytopenia often do so as a result of drug toxicity, researchers report in the August issue of Rheumatology.

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Alendronate Effective for Steroid-Induced Osteoporosis

THURSDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Alendronate (Fosamax) may be more effective than alfacalcidol at staving off steroid-induced bone loss among patients with rheumatic diseases, according to the results of a double-blind study published in the Aug. 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Socioeconomic Status Linked to Late-Life Disability

THURSDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- While the link between extreme poverty and poor health has long been recognized, a new report in the Aug. 17 New England Journal of Medicine extends the socioeconomic disparity to functional limitation and disability later in life.

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Woman Damages Vision After Prednisolone Self-Treatment

FRIDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A 64-year-old woman who self-diagnosed myalgic encephalomyelitis permanently damaged her eyesight as a result of four years of therapy with oral prednisolone, purchased from an online pharmacy based in Thailand, according to a report published in the Aug. 12 issue of The Lancet.

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Anakinra Effective for Inflammatory Disease

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The interleukin-1β blocker anakinra is safe and effective for patients with neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease, according to new research published in the Aug. 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Bone Marrow Lesions in the Knee Often Inherited

FRIDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Bone marrow lesions in the knee have a significant genetic component and commonly coexist with chondral defects and radiographic osteoarthritis (ROA), according to a study published online Aug. 3 in Arthritis Research & Therapy.

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Smoking May Raise Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk in Women

THURSDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In women without genetic predisposition to rheumatoid arthritis (RA), smoking raises the risk of developing the disease, according to a study published online Aug. 3 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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