Most Read Articles
Jairia Dela Cruz, 10 Apr 2019
Treatment with tofacitinib yields significant improvements in signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in patients from the Asia Pacific, according to data from a posthoc analysis. The drug has a safety profile consistent with global tofacitinib studies, although infections occur more frequently in Asians.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 30 Apr 2019
In rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients in remission, increasing the dose interval of tocilizumab injection from the standard 162 mg once weekly to twice weekly may do more harm than good. Specifically, such a strategy is associated with a lower chance of remission maintenance as well as a lack of improvement in tolerability, as shown in a recent trial.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 29 Apr 2019
Physicians are likely to underestimate the severity of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in patients who are older, show higher fatigue levels, complain of greater pain or have poorer mental health, according to a Singapore study. In contrast, overestimation of disease severity by physicians tends to occur in the presence of higher swollen joint counts.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 05 Jan 2017
Patients with early arthritis should be allowed to share in the decision making regarding the approach to treatment, with rheumatologists acting as the primary specialists, according to the 2016 update of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) recommendations for early arthritis management.

Smoking tied to higher disease activity in RA

20 Apr 2019
In 2015, a study implied that preventive measures such as smoking cessation were pointless in preventing cancer.

An association exists between smoking and higher levels of disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), suggests a new study.

Compared with nonsmoking, smoking correlated with a 0.64-unit increase in the patient global score (p=0.01) and with 2.58 more swollen joints (p<0.001). Smoking was also associated with a higher clinical disease activity score (2.11), but the difference was statistically nonsignificant (p=0.22).

On the other hand, there was no association between smoking and physician global score or C-reactive protein levels, but an inverse interaction was found between smoking and tender joint count (p=0.05). Furthermore, there was a null relationship for all outcomes in analyses using conventional methods.

“Causal methods may be useful for investigations of additional exposures on longitudinal outcome measures in rheumatologic disease,” the authors said.

This study examined the link between smoking and RA outcomes using statistical methods that accounted for time-varying confounding and loss to follow-up. Electronic health record data collected at a public hospital between 2013 and 2017 were used to identify 282 individuals with an RA diagnosis.

The authors evaluated current smoking status and disease activity at each visit, including sex, race/ethnicity, age, obesity and medication use as covariates. They calculated the causal effect of smoking on disease activity measures at 27 months using longitudinal targeted maximum likelihood estimation and compared results to conventional longitudinal methods.

“Prior studies around the relationship between smoking and RA disease activity have reported inconsistent findings, which may be ascribed to heterogeneous study designs or biases in statistical analyses,” the authors noted.

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Most Read Articles
Jairia Dela Cruz, 10 Apr 2019
Treatment with tofacitinib yields significant improvements in signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in patients from the Asia Pacific, according to data from a posthoc analysis. The drug has a safety profile consistent with global tofacitinib studies, although infections occur more frequently in Asians.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 30 Apr 2019
In rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients in remission, increasing the dose interval of tocilizumab injection from the standard 162 mg once weekly to twice weekly may do more harm than good. Specifically, such a strategy is associated with a lower chance of remission maintenance as well as a lack of improvement in tolerability, as shown in a recent trial.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 29 Apr 2019
Physicians are likely to underestimate the severity of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in patients who are older, show higher fatigue levels, complain of greater pain or have poorer mental health, according to a Singapore study. In contrast, overestimation of disease severity by physicians tends to occur in the presence of higher swollen joint counts.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 05 Jan 2017
Patients with early arthritis should be allowed to share in the decision making regarding the approach to treatment, with rheumatologists acting as the primary specialists, according to the 2016 update of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) recommendations for early arthritis management.