The Handoff: Your Week in Rheumatology News – 1/20/17

As rheumatology evolves, it can be challenging to stay current with the latest research and treatments. The Handoff is a weekly roundup of the most important news and updates in rheumatic diseases. Keep your finger on the pulse of rheumatology with The Handoff.

–Baseline body mass index (BMI) had no effect on the efficacy or retention of intravenous abatacept in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a 6-month analysis of a 2-year noninterventional prospective study published in Joint Bone Spine.

–The American College of Physicians and American Academy of Family Physicians have released new clinical practice guidelines regarding the pharmacologic management of hypertension in adults > 60 years old.  Several recommendations represent relaxed systolic blood pressure thresholds for specific patient groups.

–The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced an extended review period for Eli Lilly’s most recent new drug application (NDA) for investigational baricitinib, a once-daily oral Janus Kinase inhibitor that treats moderate-to-severe RA.

–A new study suggests that smart watches and similar technology have the potential to detect illnesses like Lyme disease and type 2 diabetes.

–Research published in Nature Reviews Rheumatology has found that nicotine use can exacerbate RA. Just one more reason to encourage your patients to kick the habit.

–The likelihood of regaining ability to work was studied in patients with RA who initiated anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy within 5 years.  Did early initiation significantly effect probability of being able to return to work?

–Patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) may be susceptible to periods of clinical enthesitis, most commonly in the Achilles tendon, plantar fascia, and lateral epicondyles. 

–Certolizumab pegol and tocilizumab may be associated with a higher risk of serious adverse events (SAEs) than other biologic and targeted synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs among patients with RA, according to a study published in Rheumatology.

–Adam Parker, MD, from the SSM Health Medical Group in Missouri, shared 4 tips for managing arthritis during cold weather. He notes that while there’s “no definitive link” between cold and arthritic pain,  the mind can often affect pain perception.

–The US National Park Service and the CDC are urging the public to practice caution after research confirmed that 9 national parks in Maine, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., and Virginia are home to blacklegged ticks, which may carry Lyme disease.

–The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society has published the first randomized controlled trial examining the potential benefits of chair yoga for managing pain in patients with osteoarthritis.

Osteoporosis International published a paper lauding the National Bone Health Alliance’s expanded diagnostic criteria for detection of osteoarthritis in potentially at-risk patients. 

–Treat any long-haul truckers lately? Marc Leavey, MD, a primary care physician at Mercy Medical Center near Baltimore, MD, spoke to Fleet Owner about the prevalence of gout among truckers, due to lifestyle factors and the demands of the job. 

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