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Pregnancy Outcomes with Belimumab

Oct 19, 2022

Pregnancy in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is fraught with problems of adverse pregnancy outcomes, more pregnancy loss and birth defects. Now a study of SLE pregnancies exposed to belimumab (BEL) shows and expected rate of pregnancy loss but a variable rate of birth defects.


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CRTAC1- a Novel Biomarker for Osteoarthritis

Oct 17, 2022

Scientists at deCODE genetics a subsidiary of Amgen report in Arthritis & Rheumatology that a novel plasma protein (cartilage acidic protein-1; CRTAC1) is a potential biomarker of osteoarthritis (OA) through its association with OA risk and progression to joint replacement.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Need to Quit Smoking ASAP

Oct 04, 2022

While it is known that smoking ups the risk of developing RA, its effect on outcomes in those with established rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is less known.  A report from an early arthritis registry shows that current smoking increases disease activity and lowers health-related quality of life.

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Heavy Metal Rheumatology (9.23.2022)

Sep 23, 2022

Below are this week’s highlights from RheumNow, as discussed by Dr. Jack Cush. Thanks to all of you for your kind comments and great reviews of our weekly podcast. Please let us know how we can improve by emailing me or recording your suggestion using the "Ask Cush Anything" link on our website

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Genetic Testing for Autoinflammatory Disease

Sep 01, 2022

Not all patients with periodic fevers fit neatly into diagnostic categories. Some can be diagnosed as Still’s disease (based on criteria) while others can be classified as autoinflammatory diseases (AID) and some may be unclassifiable, clinically or genetically.

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myositis, polymyositis, wikipedia

EULAR/ACR Classification in MDA5+ Myositis Patients

The diagnosis of idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIMs) can be informed by the 2017 EULAR/ACR classification criteria, but their utility in patients with clinically amyopathic dermatomyositis (CADM) and anti–melanoma differentiation–associated protein 5 (anti–MDA-5)–positive IIM is less

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STING/IFN Activation Promotes ANCA-Associated Vasculitis Progression

Aug 29, 2022

Research presented in the Journal of Experimental Medicine shows that ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV) may be propagated by pathogenic mechanisms triggering cGAS/STING/IRF3-dependent IFN-I release.

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Managing JDM with Calcinosis

Aug 19, 2022

Dr. Jack Cush reviews the news and journal reports from this past week on RheumNow and discusses a case of refractory juvenile dermatomyositis with calcinosis.

  1. CDC report of fungal infx in US 2019 - coccidioidomycosis (20,061), histoplasmosis (1,124) & blastomycosis (240

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CC Genotype and Thiopurine Toxicity

Jun 20, 2022

Annals of Internal Medicine reports that thiopurine toxcicity risk is associated with the "CC" genotype and that azathioprine discontinuation was associated with hematopoietic toxicity and lower thiopurine doses. 

Prior studies have shown that azathiprine (AZA) use is associated with

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Polygenic Risk Scores to Identfy Severe Knee and Hip Osteoarthritis

May 09, 2022

Prevention of knee and hip osteoarthritis would obviate considerable disability and future surgery.  We may be one step closer according to a prospective European GWAS study showing polygenic risk scores (PRSs) significantly associated with higher risks for knee and hip OA joint replacement

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Arthritis Predicts Hepatic Fibrosis in Hemochromatosis

Apr 25, 2022

Mayo Clinic Proceedings reports the results of a retrospective, cross-sectional of patients with HFE hemochromatosis showing that advanced hepatic fibrosis is primarily seen in those with arthritis due to HFE hemochromatosis. 

A total of 112 patients with a liver biopsy confirmed

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#Rheumatoid arthritis- is it all or partially in your genes 🧬? Many genes are not sufficient or necessary to produce #RA. Genes were used in a study to predict development of RA better than clinical parameters. But not ready for prime time YET #RNL2022 @RheumNow @karen_kc123
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Consequences of TNF inhibition (3.18.2022)

Mar 18, 2022

This week we're going to talk about the downside of TNF inhibitors, a few interesting observations in gout, and yes, kids do get COVID. We're also going to preview what's coming in April (hint: it's about PsA). This and more as Dr. Jack Cush reviews the news and journal articles from the past

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Environmental Pollutants Ups Autoimmune Disease Risk

Mar 16, 2022

An Italian environmental study shows that air pollution increases the risk of autoimmune diseases, in particular rheumatoid arthritis, connective tissue diseases (CTDs) and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).

Previously environmental pollutants have been linked to an increased risk of

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Predicting Spondylitis in At-Risk Relatives

Mar 14, 2022

The risk of developing axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) if you’re a first-degree relative (FDRs) of an ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patient has been deflined by a 35 year follow-up study showing that if you are a FDR of axSpA you may be at higher risk of acute anterior uveitis (AAU).

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An Ounce of Prevention (2.4.2022)

Feb 03, 2022

Dr. Jack Cush reviews the news and journal reports from this past week on  He discusses the GI side effects of IL-17 inhibitors, downstream revenues from rheumatology care and dietary prevention of gout. 

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Genes and Obesity Tied to Higher Gout Risk in Women

Dec 09, 2021

Excess adiposity and genetic predisposition both contributed to risk of gout among U.S. women, with the risks being highest when both factors are present, a large prospective study found.

Analysis of data from the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) found that the relative risk for incident

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Cytokine Inhibitor Lung Disease in Still's Linked to HLA-DRB1 Alleles

Dec 01, 2021

Pulmonary complications in the setting of Still's disease (juvenile and adult) has seldom but consistently been reported, including reports of pneumonitis, pulmonary hypertension and a severe or fatal lung disease, often associated with hypersensitivity to anticytokine therapy. A multicenter

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RheumNow Podcast - ACR 2021 Rehash (the good stuff..)

Nov 12, 2021

The ACR 2021 meeting has concluded. Dr. Jack Cush recounts a few more great abstracts from this past week’s virtual meeting.

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Opening Day Report

Nov 06, 2021

The opening of ACR2 Convergence was a hit for all who signed up and viewed in. The day included the presidential address by outgoing president Dr. David Karp (UT Southwestern) and a keynote talk and interview with Dr. Seema Yasmin (Stanford).

The Year in Review

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Clues to Survival and Mortality with VEXAS Syndrome

Nov 01, 2021

New research to be presented this week at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, shows a relationship between genotype, bone marrow failure and survival in patients with the rare autoinflammatory disease VEXAS syndrome, which was only identified in 2020.

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Large GWAS Study Reveals Genetic Basis for Osteoarthritis Phenotypes

Oct 29, 2021

Cell has published the results of a multinational, GWAS meta-analyses of 826,690 individuals that included 177,517 osteoarthritis patients, finding 52 previously unknown osteoarthritis (OA) genetic risk variants and linking OA genetic risks with joint distribution and pain-related

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Passive Smoke Exposure and Rheumatoid Risk

Aug 23, 2021

A current report in Arthritis & Rheumatology examined the Nurses Health Study II data set and shows that parental smoking, and passive exposure to children, can later lead to an increased risk of adult-onset incident seropositive rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

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RA Hands Difficult deformity

What Factors Predict RA in First-Degree Relatives?

MedPage Today
Aug 16, 2021

Among a cohort of first-degree relatives of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), certain patient characteristics, as well as symptoms, helped predict a possible increased risk for developing the disease, U.K. researchers reported.

In a group of 870 first-degree relatives, 13.3%

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More Tea, Less Rheumatoid

Aug 09, 2021

A large cohort study of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients shows that regular tea consumption was associated with a lower risk of RA.

Tea consumption was quantified in 2237 incident RA cases (2005–2018) and 4661 controls, who were matched on age, sex, and residential area. Tea

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