February 2007 Briefing - Rheumatology

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

FDA Approves Humira for Crohn's Disease

TUESDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Humira (adalimumab) for use in the treatment of adults with moderate to severe Crohn's disease. The drug, which is made by Abbott Laboratories, was previously approved for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. It is labeled with a boxed warning in regards to the increased risk of potentially life-threatening infections, including tuberculosis.

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Pain Guidelines Advise Reduced Use of COX-2 Inhibitors

TUESDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- To minimize the risk of adverse events, patients with or at risk for heart disease who are in chronic pain should first be treated by non-pharmacological approaches, followed by analgesics and non-selective cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors, with COX-2 inhibitors only prescribed as a last resort, according to updated guidelines published online Feb. 26 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Frequent Analgesic Use Linked to Hypertension Risk

MONDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Frequent use of analgesics, including aspirin, acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), is associated with an increased risk of hypertension, according to a report published Feb. 26 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Rheumatologic Drugs Linked to Psoriasis in Some Cases

THURSDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In rare cases, patients being treated with tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) inhibitors for rheumatologic diseases may develop psoriasis, researchers report in the February issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Medications May Increase the Risk of Microscopic Colitis

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who take high numbers of medications may have an increased risk of developing microscopic colitis, according to the results of a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Surgeon Volume Affects Knee Replacement Outcome

TUESDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Total knee replacement patients who are operated on at high-volume hospitals by high-volume surgeons have better function two years later than patients treated at low-volume hospitals, researchers report in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Glucosamine Bests Placebo, Acetaminophen for Knee Pain

FRIDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Glucosamine sulfate may be more effective at treating the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis than placebo or acetaminophen, according to results from the Glucosamine Unum In Die (once-a-day) Efficacy (GUIDE) trial, published in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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DNA Vaccine Shows Promise in Rheumatoid Arthritis

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- In a murine model of rheumatoid arthritis, a DNA vaccine containing macrophage migration inhibitory factor and a tetanus toxoid (MIF/TTX) provokes an immune response and reduces secretion of serum tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), according to study findings published in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Electrodiagnosis Accurate for Spinal Stenosis

FRIDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Electrodiagnosis gives the most accurate diagnosis of spinal stenosis in older patients because, unlike magnetic resonance imaging, it can distinguish between symptomatic and asymptomatic cases, according to study findings published in the February issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Etanercept Has No Effect on Spondylarthritis in Mice

TUESDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with etanercept inhibits tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha but does not affect the severity of joint ankylosis, according to the results of a study in a mouse model of spondylarthritis (SpA) published in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Researchers Assess Cost of Juvenile Arthritis

FRIDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis has a substantial economic impact on the health care system, according to the results of a study published in the February issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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No Link Seen Between Exercise, Knee Osteoarthritis

THURSDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged and older adults who exercise regularly do not affect their risk of developing knee osteoarthritis or increase its progression, according to the results of two studies published in the February issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Mutations Cause of Distinct Myeloproliferative Disorders

THURSDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified four new mutations in the Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) gene that can cause myeloproliferative disease, and patients with the mutations may have a distinct syndrome even though they are currently diagnosed as having polycythemia vera or idiopathic erythrocytosis. The findings are published in the Feb. 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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New Tool Predicts Rheumatoid Arthritis Progression

THURSDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A new prediction rule may help identify which patients presenting with undifferentiated arthritis are most likely to progress to rheumatoid arthritis, according to a report in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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