February 2009 Briefing - Rheumatology
Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Rheumatology for February 2009. 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.
Guidelines for Prevention of Rheumatic Fever Updated
FRIDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Prevention of rheumatic fever relies on proper identification and treatment of the bacteria responsible, with penicillin being the preferred treatment, according to updated guidelines published online Feb. 26 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Pain May Occur After Magnetic Resonance Arthrography
THURSDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Patients may notice pain following magnetic resonance arthrography, particularly several hours after the procedure, according to research published in the March issue of Radiology.
Balloon Kyphoplasty Can Treat Vertebral Fractures
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Painful vertebral fractures can be safely and effectively treated with balloon kyphoplasty, a minimally invasive procedure, according to research published online Feb. 25 in The Lancet.
Insurance Essential for Good Health, Well-Being
TUESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Having health insurance is vital for health and well-being, and when rates of uninsurance are high, even insured people are more likely to struggle to obtain necessary care, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine released online Feb. 24.
US Health Spending May Have Hit $2.4 Trillion in 2008
TUESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Health spending in the United States was estimated to be $2.4 trillion last year, and is expected to account for an unprecedented share of the economy this year, according to a report published online Feb. 24 in Health Affairs.
Racial Disparity Persists in Total Knee Replacements
MONDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Racial disparity between blacks and whites in total knee replacement procedures has persisted, despite adoption of a Healthy People 2010 objective to eliminate these disparities, according to a report published in the Feb. 20 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Proposed Changes to Health Care Would Reduce Costs
THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Simultaneous gains in universal health coverage, improved health outcomes and slowed spending growth would have a major impact on the development of public policy, according to a perspective published in the Feb. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Transparency, Globalization Growing in Clinical Research
THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- All clinical trial data and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration database should be publicly available, and global clinical research should be conducted in relevant populations for potential applications of the intervention, according to two articles published in the Feb. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Implementing a Quality Improvement Faculty Path
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A new career pathway in academic medicine, termed clinicians in quality improvement, is a justified concept to achieve and recognize excellence in patient safety, according to a commentary published in the Feb. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Possible Risk of Herpes Zoster with Anti-TNF-α Therapy
TUESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Monoclonal antibodies directed against tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), a class of drugs that treat a variety of systemic inflammatory diseases, are associated with an increased risk of herpes zoster, according to research published in the Feb. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Ads Featuring 'Drug Facts Box' Help Educate Consumers
TUESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Replacing the brief summary in direct-to-consumer ads with a "drug facts box" may result in improved consumer knowledge and judgment about medication benefits and side effects, according to study findings released online Feb. 17 in advance of publication in the Apr. 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Chondroitin May Protect Joints in Knee Osteoarthritis
THURSDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The long-term use of chondroitin sulfate may prevent joint structure damage in patients with knee osteoarthritis, according to research published in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Rheumatologist Offers View on Needs in Osteoarthritis Care
THURSDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- There are several deficiencies in the diagnosis and management of patients with osteoarthritis, and a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of this condition is essential to provide the best care, according to a view published in the February issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.
Interleukin-Based Psoriatic Arthritis Drug Shows Promise
THURSDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Ustekinumab, a human interleukin 12/23 monoclonal antibody drug, reduces symptoms of psoriatic arthritis and the severity of skin lesions, according to research published online Feb. 12 in The Lancet.
Protein, Receptor May Play Role in Rheumatoid Inflammation
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Placenta growth factor (PlGF) may promote inflammation and angiogenesis in joints in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but not healthy joints, according to research published in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Care Coordination Programs Don't Benefit Medicare Patients
TUESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- For Medicare beneficiaries with chronic illnesses, most care coordination programs have little impact on reducing hospitalizations and costs or improving quality of care, according to a report published in the Feb. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Physical Activity Components Affect Knee Osteoarthritis Risk
FRIDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults may be more likely to develop knee osteoarthritis if they regularly engage in either high mechanical strain activities, such as dancing or tennis, or in low muscle strength activities, such as light housework, according to an article published in the Feb. 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.
Graded Exercise Program Improves Low Back Pain
THURSDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A graded exercise intervention emphasizing stabilizing exercises reduces disability and improves physical health better than daily walks in patients with recurrent low back pain, researchers report in the Feb. 1 issue of Spine.
Quadriceps Exercise Beneficial After Knee Replacement
THURSDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who undergo primary, unilateral total knee arthroplasty, progressive quadriceps strengthening with or without neuromuscular electrical stimulation leads to functional improvements that nearly approach the functional level of healthy older adults, according to a report published in the Feb. 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.
Exercise Under-Prescribed for Head and Neck Pain
THURSDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with chronic back or neck pain, fewer than half receive exercise prescriptions from their health care providers, and they are especially unlikely to receive such prescriptions from physicians, according to a report published in the Feb. 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.