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August 2007 Briefing - Rheumatology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Rheumatology for August 2007. 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.

Crystal Deposition Observed in Intervertebral Discs

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In human intervertebral discs, crystal deposition is a common occurrence and may have the same degenerative effects that it does in articular cartilage matrix, according to study findings published in the July/August issue of the Spine Journal.

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Resident Duty-Hour Cuts Curb Surgeon Job Satisfaction

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Reforms limiting resident duty hours are increasing surgeons' workloads and may be negatively affecting patient care, researchers report in the August issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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ECGs Often Abnormal in Infants of Autoimmune Women

MONDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities are common in infants of mothers with autoimmune diseases, while congenital heart block is rare, according to the results a study in the August issue of Rheumatology.

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Ultrasound Can Monitor Pediatric Scleroderma

MONDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Ultrasound can be useful in assessing the activity and extent of lesions in pediatric patients with localized scleroderma, according to study findings published in the August issue of Rheumatology.

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Factors Predict Outcomes for Sjogren's Syndrome

FRIDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Parotid scintigraphy, vasculitis, hypocomplementemia and cryoglobulinemia predict lower survival in patients with primary Sjogren's syndrome, according to study findings published in the August issue of Rheumatology.

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Consumer Drug Ad Spending Continues to Rise

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Despite criticism of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising in recent years, more money is being spent on promoting drugs directly to patients, researchers report in the Aug. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. At the same time, the proportion of broadcast advertisements that were reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before being aired dropped from 64 percent in 1999 to 32 percent in 2004.

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Sonicating Explanted Prosthetic Joints Helps Detect Infection

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Sonicating explanted hip and knee prostheses to dislodge bacterial biofilms can detect infections better than standard tissue culture, according to the results of a study published in the Aug. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Crohn's Risk Lower in Children Exposed to Farm Animals

MONDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Contact with farm animals during infancy, which is thought to protect against childhood allergies, may have a similar effect on juvenile Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis, researchers report in the August issue of Pediatrics.

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Calcitonin Linked to Reduced Cartilage Erosion in Rats

MONDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Calcitonin, an agent with a long history of use in treating postmenopausal osteoporosis, may prevent the cartilage degradation and erosions found in osteoarthritis, according to the results of a nine-week animal study published in the August issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Bowel and Orthopedic Diseases Share Genetic Link

THURSDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A case-control study of Icelanders has offered "the first direct evidence to support a common genetic component for inflammatory bowel disease and ankylosing spondylitis," say researchers in the August issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Echocardiography Detects More Rheumatic Heart Disease

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Echocardiography screening detected about 10 times more cases of rheumatic heart disease in children in Cambodia and Mozambique than clinical examinations, according to a study in the Aug. 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Blacks, Hispanics at Higher Risk of Disabling Arthritis

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Black and Hispanic arthritis patients are more than twice as likely as white patients to report some level of disability in regard to performing activities of daily living, according to a report in the August issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Epstein-Barr Virus Linked to Poor Outcome in Lymphoma

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma who are infected with the Epstein-Barr virus have almost a threefold higher risk of death than their counterparts without the virus, according to a study in the Aug. 1 issue of Blood.

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Physician's Briefing