The Handoff: Your Week in Rheumatology News – 12/16/16

–Earlier this week, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act, a widely supported bipartisan effort aimed at increasing funding for medical research and accelerating the development and approval of experimental treatments.

–Eight years of CORRONA registry data indicate that switching from rituximab to an alternative biologic for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) does not alter a patient’s infection risk.

–For the first time since 1993, life expectancy in the United States has dropped, according to a report from NPR—but preliminary analysis of 2016 data suggest that this may just be “a blip.” The complete data brief was published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

–The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) and the Pediatric Rheumatology European Society (PReS) have released new standards for the transitional care of patients with juvenile-onset rheumatic diseases (jRMD).

–Boston University Medical Center researchers examined the devastating effect that media sensationalism can have when reporting on flawed clinical research.

–Investigators at Johns Hopkins University found a potential link between Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans found in severe gum disease and RA.

–The world’s largest online support community for people with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, TalkPsoriasis, has reached a major milestone: more than 100,000 members are now using the free service.

–Less than half of all opiate prescriptions written between 2006 and 2014 for patients with RA were written by a rheumatology specialist. Findings were presented at ACR 2016.

–A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology suggests that, in the long term, running may actually protect knees and prevent degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis (OA).

–A report out of the Cleveland Clinic suggests that cola and coffee have an impact on women’s bone density; men were unaffected. Researchers continue to investigate the reason behind this effect.

–Susan Bartlett, PhD, associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, discusses the debilitating effects of fatigue on patients with RA in the video below.

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