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August 2008 Briefing - Rheumatology

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

Lancet Supports WHO Report on Health Inequality

FRIDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The final report by the World Health Organization's Commission on Social Determinants of Health contains a strong mandate for reducing global inequalities in health care, according to an editorial published in the Aug. 30 issue of The Lancet.

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Bunion Patients Brake Faster Six Weeks After Surgery

THURSDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Six weeks after undergoing a unilateral first metatarsal osteotomy for bunion correction, patients showed similar emergency braking times as healthy individuals, suggesting that these patients can resume driving at six weeks, according to research published in the August issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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New Pain Guidelines Released

THURSDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) has released new medical treatment guidelines for the care of workers with chronic pain syndromes, representing the latest chapter in Occupational Medicine Practice Guidelines, available online. A print version of the guidelines will be available in September.

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Protein Leads to Defects in Bone Formation in Mice

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Mice overproducing connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), a protein critical for skeletal development, have impaired bone formation and develop osteopenia, researchers report in the September issue of Endocrinology.

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Expenses Rising for Medicare Patients with Arthritis

MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Out-of-pocket medical expenditures for Medicare-age patients with arthritis have risen sharply since 1998, and are likely to continue rising despite Medicare Part D drug coverage, according to a report published in the August issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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TNF-Alpha Plays Controversial Role in Fibrotic Diseases

MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Because studies about the role of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) in fibrotic diseases have produced sometimes contradictory results, clinicians should not routinely prescribe TNFα antagonists to patients with fibrosis until placebo-controlled trials have demonstrated their safety and efficacy, researchers report in the August issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Outlook Mixed on US Presidential Candidates' Health Plans

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The health care plans proposed by John McCain and Barack Obama would have uncertain effects on health care coverage in America, but potential problems with each plan are evident, according to a perspective piece in the Aug. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Adalimumab May Be Helpful in Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Adalimumab was associated with improved symptoms in children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, according to the results of a study published in the Aug. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Behavioral Counseling Technique Reduces Back Pain

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Teaching patients with chronic or recurrent back pain to improve their posture and neuromuscular coordination significantly reduces pain, in some cases without exercise, according to research published online Aug. 19 in BMJ.

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Seniors Likely to Find Medicare Health Web Site Unusable

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Even older adults with computer skills may have difficulty using the Medicare.gov Web site to determine eligibility for services and enroll in a drug plan, according to a research letter published in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Serum Vitamin D Status Linked to Hip Fracture

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In postmenopausal women, low serum 25(OH) vitamin D concentrations are associated with a significantly higher risk for hip fracture, researchers report in the Aug. 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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In England, Health Care Quality Suffers from Gaps

FRIDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The quality of health care in England could be greatly improved, particularly for some chronic conditions in older people, according to research published online Aug. 14 in BMJ.

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Gender Differences Found for Vitamin D-Pain Link

TUESDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged women, but not men, are less likely to have chronic widespread pain if they have higher vitamin D levels, according to research published online Aug. 12 in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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Metal-on-Metal Hip Resurfacing Growing More Popular

FRIDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Since its introduction a decade ago, metal-on-metal hip resurfacing has become increasingly popular because it may conserve femoral bone, increase functional ability and be easier to revise than other procedures, according to an article published in the August issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Over 1 Billion U.S. Doctor, Hospital Visits Logged in 2006

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In 2006, patients made an estimated 1.1 billion visits to physician offices and hospital emergency and outpatient departments in the United States, which was an average of four visits per person, according to health care statistics released Aug. 6 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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International Issue of Torture Complicity Analyzed

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- More than 100 countries condone the use of torture and have often recruited the medical community as participants without consequence, according to an editorial published online July 31 in BMJ.

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