Higher-Dose Pneumococcal Vaccines Improve Immune Response in ANCA-associated Vasculitis Patients Receiving Rituximab

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence 2022, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, showed that a higher dose of pneumococcal vaccine safely and effectively improved antibody response in patients receiving rituximab for ANCA-associated vasculitis.

Study Finds Most Fetal Congenital Heart Block Screening Fails to Meet Guidelines

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, found that most echocardiography screening for fetal congenital heart block in anti-Ro- and anti-La-positive pregnancies did not follow recommended guidelines in one academic medical center.

Study Finds Spine Disease Is More Common in Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomyelitis than Previously Thought

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence 2022, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, shows that spine disease, once considered a rarity in chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis, affects as many as 10-35% of patients and is asymptomatic in one-third.

Study Finds Holding Methotrexate for One Week after Flu Vaccine May Be as Effective as a Two-Week Hold

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, showed that discontinuing methotrexate for 1 week after seasonal influenza vaccination provided the same seroprotection as a 2 week discontinuation period in patients with RA.

Study Finds Combination Therapy Does Little to Slow Spine Damage in Radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis Patients

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence 2022, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, showed that combining a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug and TNF inhibitor did not significantly slow radiographic spinal progression in radiographic axial spondyloarthritis patients.

Study Finds No Increased Cancer Risk in Rheumatology Patients with History of Malignancy Taking DMARDS and TNF Inhibitors

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence, the organization’s annual meeting, found no significant difference in cancer risk in patients with rheumatic disease & a history of malignancy taking biologic or targeted synthetic DMARDs compared to those treated with TNF inhibitors.

Study Finds Opioids Double Risk of Venous Thromboembolism in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence 2022, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, found that adult RA patients starting opioids had twice the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) compared to patients starting nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Study Links Lower Hydroxychloroquine Dose to More Hospitalizations for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Flares

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence 2022, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual scientific meeting, found that the recommended weight-based or non-weight-based dose of hydroxychloroquine led to more hospitalizations for flares among patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

Primary Care Provider Training Program Improves RA Care on Navajo Nation

Research presented this week at ACR Convergence 2022, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, described a novel program that offers rheumatoid arthritis (RA) training to primary care providers in the Navajo Nation, the largest American Indian reservation in the United States.

Study Finds Early TNF Inhibitor Treatment Is Associated with Higher Heart Disease Risk in Ankylosing Spondylitis Patients — with Caveats

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence 2022, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, found that early initiation of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors was associated with higher risk of heart disease in patients diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis.

Study Finds More Polyarticular JIA Patients Achieve Clinical Remission with Combined Conventional and Biologic DMARDs

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, demonstrated that polyarticular JIA patients were more likely to achieve clinical remission with a combination of conventional and biologic DMARDs compared with other treatment plans.

New Analysis Finds Belimumab Improves Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus in Patients with or without SLE

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence 2022, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, found that the B-cell inhibitor belimumab significantly improved cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE) whether or not patients also had systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus).

Study Finds Lower Risk of Severe Infection and Hospitalization with Belimumab Compared to Oral Immunosuppressants

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence 2022, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, found that the biologic B-cell inhibitor belimumab was associated with a lower risk of severe infections and hospitalizations compared to nonbiologic immunosuppressants.

Artificial Intelligence Shows Potential for Accurate Assessment of Nailfold Changes in Systemic Sclerosis Patients

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence 2022, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, showed that the Vision Transformer, an open-source computer vision algorithm, could detect changes in nailfold capillaroscopy images from systemic sclerosis patients.

Holding Mycophenolate Mofetil for 10 Days or More May Improve COVID-19 Vaccine Response

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence 2022, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, demonstrated that withholding mycophenolate mofetil for 10 days significantly increased antibody response after 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, without a significant increase in flares.

Race, Age, Sex and Language Affected Telemedicine Use by Rheumatology Clinic Patients During COVID-19 Pandemic

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, shows a significant lack of fairness among telemedicine and electronic patient portals used by rheumatology clinic patients based on their race, age, sex and English language proficiency.

Patients taking Rituximab Could Benefit from Third COVID-19 Vaccine Dose

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, shows patients using rituximab were able to produce antibodies against COVID-19 after receiving a third vaccine dose, even if there was no development of the antibody after the first two.

Black People with Systemic Sclerosis May Have More Severe Disease, Worse Prognosis

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, shows that Black people living with systemic sclerosis may have more severe disease and worse prognosis than patients in other racial or ethnic groups.

Study Finds Cycling JAK Inhibitors Effective Option for Patients with Difficult-to-Treat RA

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, shows that people with difficult-to-treat rheumatoid arthritis who do not have success with JAK inhibitor can achieve success either cycling to other JAKi or switching to a biologic drug.

Ultra-Low Dose Rituximab Controls Disease Activity for Most RA Patients in New Study

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, shows the majority of rheumatoid arthritis patients on an ultra-low dose of rituximab maintained low disease activity for up to 4 years, and rarely needed to switch to other biologic drugs.

Virtual Exercise Effective for People with Arthritis and Helps Them Stay Socially Connected Too

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, found that a virtual exercise program can be safe for people with musculoskeletal conditions, improved their health outcomes, and helped them feel more socially connected.

Higher Doses and Longer Use of Hydroxychloroquine Increase Risk of Severe Eye Complication

New research presented this week at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting, shows that higher doses, longer duration of use, chronic kidney disease and Asian race could all be risk factors for retinopathy in people using hydroxychloroquine for rheumatoid arthritis.

Patients Reported International Hydroxychloroquine Shortages Due to COVID-19

A new study shows that patients with rheumatic diseases across Africa, Southeast Asia, the Americas and Europe had trouble filling their prescriptions of antimalarial drugs during the 2020 global coronavirus pandemic, when antimalarials were touted as a possible COVID-19 treatment. Patients who could not access their antimalarial drugs faced worse physical and mental health outcomes as a result. Details of the research was presented at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting.

COVID-19 Infection Rates Low in People with Rheumatic Diseases, Most Report Mild Illness

A new study shows that the COVID-19 infection incidence has been low in people with rheumatic diseases, and most of those infected experience a mild course of illness. Additionally, fatalities have been low among rheumatic disease patients infected with COVID-19. Details of this research was presented at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting.

Children with Kawasaki Disease at Higher Risk for Heart Problems More Than 10 Years After They Leave the Hospital

New research shows that children with Kawasaki Disease remain at an increased risk for cardiovascular events more than 10 years after hospitalization for their condition, highlighting the need for long-term heart disease surveillance and risk reduction strategies for these young patients. Details of the study was presented at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting.

Many with Lupus at High Risk for Adverse Reactions to Pneumocystis Pneumonia Preventive Drug

New research shows that adults with systemic lupus erythematosus, who receive trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) are at high risk for adverse reactions to the drug, particularly if they are also positive for anti-Smith (anti-Sm) antibodies. Details of the study was presented at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting.

American College of Rheumatology Secures $7M Grant to Address Gaps in Lupus Care and Treatment

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) was recently awarded a $7M grant to reduce inequities in symptom recognition, care and disease management of systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus). The grant, which will be led by the ACR’s Collaborative Initiatives (COIN) department, begins on Sept. 30.

Rheumatology Leaders and Patient Advocates Urge Congress to Address Care Challenges Exacerbated by COVID-19 During Advocates for Arthritis

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) will hold its first virtual Advocates for Arthritis event on Tuesday, Sept. 15, where more than 120 rheumatologists, rheumatology health professionals, and patient advocates will meet with lawmakers via video to discuss the healthcare challenges they are facing in the midst of COVID-19.

“My Disease May Be Invisible, But I’m Not”: Patients Tell Their Stories During Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and Simple Tasks™ will recognize the fifth annual Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month (RDAM) this September with an awareness campaign that focuses on amplifying patient voices and experiences.

During Virtual Hill Visits, Rheumatology Leaders Urge Lawmakers to Provide Targeted COVID-19 Relief for Healthcare Practices

In virtual meetings with lawmakers and on Twitter tomorrow, physician and health professional leaders from the American College of Rheumatology are sounding the alarm about the economic impact of COVID-19 on rheumatology practices and the urgent need for targeted relief to help specialty practices remain solvent and continue to serve patients.

ACR Releases First Guideline to Address Reproductive Health for Patients with Rheumatic Diseases

This is the first, evidence-based guideline related to the management of reproductive health issues for all patients with rheumatic diseases. With 131 recommendations, the guideline offers general precepts that provide a foundation for its recommendations and good practice statements.