Friday, 16 Nov 2018

News

The RheumNow Podcast – Heartbreak of Methotrexate (11.16.18)

Dr. Jack Cush reviews the news from the past week at RheumNow.com.

Growing Tick Population Comes with Health Concerns

CNN has published a recent government report from the Tick-Borne Disease Working Group that suggests the US tick population is growing and may bring with it an increase in tick-related illnesses. 

While Lyme disease is the most popular of tick-borne illnesses, there are another 20 known conditions related to tick bites.

Pilot Data on Rituximab in Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

Management of Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) can be challenging as supportive care and avoidance of corticosteroids are often insufficient options. A new series of case reports and literature review of steroid refractory HSP suggests that rituximab may be effective in reducing hospital admissions, overall steroid use, and is capable of inducing remission.

Scleroderma Expert Treatment Preferences

Frustration may be the word that best characterizes many scleroderma management plans - owing to a lack of trials, lack of agreement and lack of clear guidance on management.

A panel of concerned experts  on systemic sclerosis (SSc) set out to develop consensus on SSc treatment algorithms.

Chikungunya Virus Vaccine Developed

Lancet reports on a new vaccine for Chikungunya fever (MV-CHIK) demonstraing excellent safety, tolerability and good immunogenicity, independent of pre-existing immunity against the vector. MV-CHIK is a promising vaccine for the prevention of chikungunya fever.

Subclinical Heart Inflammation Seen in RA

Subclinical myocardial inflammation is common among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and is associated with articular disease activity, researchers reported.

Pre-Diabetes Associated Risk for Arthritis, Obesity and Physical Inactivity

The current MMWR reports that arthritis is seen in nearly one-third of adults with prediabetes and that more than half of such patients are obese and not engaged in regular physical activity.

Doctor-diagnosed arthritis affects 54.4 million in the U.S. and the CDC expects this to rise to 78.4 million by 2040.

MMWR: Death by Firearms

The CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) reports that during 2015–2016 there was a total of 27,394 firearm homicides and 44,955 firearm suicides among US residents, with 12% and 5% of events occuring in children 10–19 years.

CIRT Trial - Methotrexate Fails at Cardiovascular Prevention

Methotrexate has been shown to reduce cardiovascular (CV) deaths in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Given that inflammation underlies the pathogenesis of atherothrombosis, Dr. Paul Ridker and colleagues studied the value of low dose methotrexate (MTX) in preventing cardiovascular events.

RheumNow Weekly Podcast – 3 Wiseguy Rheumatologists (11.9.18)

Dr Jack Cush reviews the News and Journal reports from the past week on RheumNow.com.  Be sure to check out our upcoming meeting in March 2019 - RheumNow Live.

Intensive Patient Education Does Not Improve Low Back Pain Care

JAMA reports on a randomized clinical trial of 202 adults with acute low back pain showing the addition of intensive patient education failed to improve pain outcomes.

This randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial recruited patients from general practices in Sydney, Australia, between 2013 - 2015. Patients had to have acute low back pain of fewer than 6 weeks’ duration. 

E/M Guidelines: Right Road, Wrong Direction

Last July, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed new E/M guidelines for office visits with physicians. It issued the final guidelines on November 1, with a few tweaks. Implementation was delayed until 2021 (from 2019), possibly due to overwhelming opposition from physicians.