Abatacept slows development of early-stage RA

Abatacept and methotrexate may work better at slowing the development of early-stage rheumatoid arthritis than methotrexate alone. INTRODUCTION Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease that causes inflamed (swollen) joints. The inflammation may eventually damage the cartilage and bone. Many doctors believe that there is a narrow ’window of opportunity’ to stop the progress of the disease when it […]

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People with RA doing better today than in the 1990s

People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) – particularly women – have less pain, less fatigue, and better physical function today than they did in the mid-1990s, a large study from Norway suggests. INTRODUCTION Over the last 20 years, treatment options for RA have expanded with the introduction of TNF inhibitors and other new types of DMARDs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic […]

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Improving standards of care for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis

INTRODUCTION A study involving doctors, patients, and policy makers has outlined the conditions needed to improve standards of care for people with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Importantly, the EUMUSC.NET project projectstudy was co-financed by the European Community (EC Community Action in the Field of Health 2008– 2013) and by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR). WHAT DO WE […]

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Standards of care for people with rheumatoid arthritis

INTRODUCTION Patients and experts have worked together to produce standards of care for people in Europe who have rheumatoid arthritis. They hope that this means everyone with rheumatoid arthritis will get the best possible treatment from their doctors, nurses, and healthcare services, no matter where they live. WHAT DO WE KNOW ALREADY? Most countries have their own […]

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Newly updated advice on using DMARDs for RA

INTRODUCTION Shared decision-making between patients and doctors is a central focus of newly updated recommendations on treating rheumatoid arthritis with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). The updated recommendations, produced by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR), also take into account recent research on the benefits and safety of these widely used drugs. WHAT DO WE KNOW ALREADY? When […]

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Exercise improves vascular health in people with rheumatoid arthritis

INTRODUCTION Regular exercise can help keep blood vessels healthy in people with rheumatoid arthritis, as well as reducing their numbers of swollen joints. WHAT DO WE KNOW ALREADY? People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have a higher-than-usual risk of getting heart disease. We’re not quite sure why this is. It may be because the inflammation (swelling) that affects […]

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Why anti-TNF treatments don’t work the same for everyone

  INTRODUCTION Some people who take treatments called anti-TNF drugs for illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and spondyloarthritides may get less benefit than other people who take the same treatments, because their immune systems stop the drugs working properly. WHAT DO WE KNOW ALREADY? Anti-TNF drugs are used to reduce inflammation (for example joint swelling). […]

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How do you measure heart-disease risk in people with rheumatoid arthritis?

INTRODUCTION A test called carotid ultrasound may be the best way to tell whether individuals with rheumatoid arthritis are at high risk of heart disease, according to a new study. WHAT DO WE KNOW ALREADY? As a general rule, we know that people with rheumatoid arthritis have a higher risk of heart disease compared with the general […]

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Rheumatoid arthritis: cheaper biological treatments on the horizon?

INTRODUCTION In recent years the so-called ‘biological’ treatments have marked a major step forward in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Now a new study has looked at a similar treatment that may be cheaper and, therefore, available to more people. WHAT DO WE KNOW ALREADY? Research into rheumatoid arthritis has moved very quickly in the last 10 […]

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