Rheumatoid Arthritis News Articles Vol.4: Lifetime Risk of RA, Home RA Tests, Atherosclerosis & RA

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3 Big RA news articles right now

1) News from Mayo Clinic about lifetime risk of developing Rheumatoid Arthritis

Mayo is gathering important data on Rheumatoid Arthritis that has not been known before. We looked at one Mayo Clinic report last summer showing the incidence of RA is higher than expected and increasing in women. My readers know I’ve become a fan of Mayo researcher Dr. Sherine Gabriel especially as Mayo attempts to document the Rheumatoid Arthritis mortality gap and examine its causes.

This week, Mayo Clinic reported on the risk to develop Rheumatoid Arthritis during a lifetime. Other studies have only been able to report an annual risk, which is much less.

Lifetime risks of rheumatological diseases from Mayo ClinicThe screenshot is revealing. Here’s how one Mayo Clinic writer summarizes total risk of autoimmune arthritis: “The adult lifetime risk in the United States of having some kind of inflammatory autoimmune disease is 8.4 percent for women and 5.1 percent for men. Based on year 2000 population figures, that means one woman in 12 and one man in 20 will develop one of the conditions in their lifetime.”

The Mayo Clinic video below is very short, but Cynthia Crowson encapsulates Mayo’s findings well.

Key point to Mayo’s press release: “The authors consider that (the statistics) a substantial risk and say their findings should encourage more research on the value of early diagnosis and intervention for people with increased genetic risk of arthritis. They hope the new figures will help in counseling patients and in fundraising efforts to find improved treatments.”


Read more of what Mayo Clinic uncovered about the risk of developing Rheumatoid Arthritis here.

2) “New home test detects rheumatoid arthritis 10 years before symptoms appear”

CCPoint anti-ccp testWhat do you think of this “Press release” that’s actually an advertisement? There is some embellishment if you ask me. Reminds me of a weight loss advert. But it could be useful if it’s accurate.

“..Press Release – Jan 04, 2011 – A new testing kit that can be safely used at home can detect if a patient has rheumatoid arthritis up to 10 years before physical symptoms appear.”

“This simple test can be performed safely at home in only 10 minutes and detects the disease from just a few drops of blood. As patients with rheumatoid arthritis produce CCP many years before symptoms appear, early detection means patients can take the necessary steps to minimise the effect and the long term adverse effects of the disease.”

Click to see the ad for the CCPoint home Rheumatoid Arthritis test for yourself.

3) Important news on Rheumatoid Arthritis heart disease

This letter in Arthritis Research & Therapy from researchers in Spain discusses a study of carotid artery thickness in early Rheumatoid Arthritis. By 18 months after baseline, Swedish researchers found significant increase in carotid artery thickness in RA patients.

By the way, Katie Beth and I heard an interesting talk at ACR about measuring arteries for prediction of the progression of the atherosclerosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis, showing which arteries are better predictors of Rheumatoid heart disease.

Key points:

  • As we’ve discussed elsewhere, Rheumatoid Arthritis that is quiet in the joints may continue to progress unnoticed. They found: “…even in the apparently quiescent phases of the disease, the cumulative effect of the chronic inflammatory burden may account for the progression of the atherosclerosis disease.”
  • As I’ve also mentioned, Rheumatoid heart disease is not exactly the same as other heart disease and we should not expect typical symptoms to provide clues that it exists. “Moreover, we found that carotid artery IMT had a high predictive power for the development of cardiovascular events over a 5-year follow-up period in 47 patients with RA without clinically evident cardiovascular disease…”
  • The doctors recommend Rheumatoid Arthritis patients have ultrasound assessment of arteries when they are diagnosed. I’ve been trying for a while to figure out how to get one. Maybe bringing this study in will convince one of my doctors: “Taking all of these considerations together, we propose that ultrasonographic assessment of the carotid artery be performed on all patients with RA in order to establish a subgroup of patients with a high risk of cardiovascular complications. This procedure should be carried out at the time of the disease diagnosis and periodically thereafter, in particular in those patients with severe disease and persistent elevation of markers of inflammation.”

Read the whole letter on atherosclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis here.

Click here to read important related Swedish study on Rheumatoid Arthritis and atherosclerosis.

More big RA News stories:

NOTE: Your comments are an important resource for future readers of this post in the months to come. Please find the comment link below each post.

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Friday, January 7th, 2011 at 6:00 am and is filed under RA Research, Resources, and Rheumatology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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