Rheumatoid Arthritis News Articles, Volume 1

teacup rideThere are so many Rheumatoid Arthritis news articles that come out every day. I could never read them all! I read a few and I’m so lucky that many of my readers send me the ones they think are most important. Here is some Rheumatoid Arthritis news that could impact a lot of patients.




3 hot Rheumatoid Arthritis news articles

1) Help for joint inflammation from awful smelling sulfur?

This one’s amazing! The smell of rotten eggs significant in RA joints? Yes, if you could smell inside your joints, you might notice hydrogen sulfide (H2S) which is that awful sulfur smell we know from rotten eggs.

Scientists recently demonstrated for the first time that H2S is present in the synovial fluid of Rheumatoid Arthritis patients. As a result, the way is open for further study about how H2S may be one day used as a as a treatment. Researchers believe it could be used to create a safer, less toxic “natural” anti-inflammatory treatment since higher H2S levels were associated with lowered counts of inflammatory cells.

 “Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a gas more commonly associated with the smell of ‘rotten eggs’ and blocked drains. However, it has now been shown to be present naturally in our bodies and reside in knee joint synovial fluid, the protective fluid found in the cavities of joints that reduces friction between the cartilage of joints during movement. Synovial fluid H2S may play a role in reducing inflammation in joints.”

Read more on the Rheumatoid Arthritis news about hydrogen sulfide.

2) Rheumatoid Arthritis and alcohol consumption news

Last month, another study demonstrated an inverse relationship between frequency of alcohol consumption and both the incidence and severity of Rheumatoid Arthritis. That means people who drank alcohol were less susceptible to Rheumatoid Arthritis or less likely to develop erosive RA.

Even adjusting for smoking and other factors, more alcohol associated with less Rheumatoid Arthritis and less damage from RA. “After adjustment for potential confounding in a multivariate regression model, frequency of alcohol consumption remained significantly and inversely associated with X-ray damage and mHAQ” (modified health assessment questionnaire). This study did not mention alcohol as a treatment to reduce existing RA, not surprisingly. However, it is important to study anything that correlates with less RA, even traffic or pesticides.

Read more on the Rheumatoid Arthritis news about alcohol.

3) News about a powerful predictor of cardiovascular disease with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Yikes. Here’s one more test I’m going to discuss with my rheum doc: This summer at EULAR, a protein called NT-proBNP was shown to be a “powerful predictor” of cardiovascular risk in Rheumatoid Arthritis patients. Dr. Kay Brune presented the results of a “cardiac biomarker analysis” from the MEDAL (Multinational Etoricoxib and Diclofenac Long-term) study. This information could be used to determine whether NSAID therapy is an appropriate option for RA patients who are already at greater risk for cardiovascular events. In Dr. Brune’s secondary analysis, she found cardiovascular event rates to be virtually identical in patients treated with etoricoxib (Arcoxia) and diclofenac (Voltaren).

She found the protein to be strongly predictive of cardiovascular outcome. According to Rheumatology News, “The key new finding was that baseline NT-proBNP showed a strong, graded relationship with 2-year rates of MI, stroke, heart failure, and cardiovascular death, said Dr. Brune, professor of clinical pharmacology at the University of Erlangen (Germany) …And when an arthritis patient who is already on long-term NSAID therapy develops a high NT-proBNP, it’s time to consider alternative pain management strategies, the physician said. NT-proBNP is a marker of cardiac function widely used in clinical practice for purposes of screening, diagnosis, and monitoring patients who have heart failure. Baseline C-reactive protein level was not associated with cardiovascular event rates in the MEDAL analysis.”

Read more on the Rheumatoid Arthritis news about predicting cardiovascular disease here or here in Science Daily.

I hope you enjoyed this peek into current events with RA. I’ll try to post another one next week. If you find a news item which you think is particularly juicy, you can email me the link at Kelly @www.rawarrior.com. Don’t be surprised if it I can’t reply every submission. I try.

Recommended reading:

Kelly Young

Kelly Young is an advocate providing ways for patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. Through her writing, speaking, and use of social media, she is building a more accurate awareness of Rheumatoid disease aka Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creating ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and bringing recognition and visibility to the Rheumatoid patient journey. In 2009, Kelly created Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior, a comprehensive website about RA of about 950 pages and writes periodically for other newsletters and websites. Kelly served on the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Advisory Board. There are over 42,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook Fan page. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is the mother of five, a home-schooler, Bible teacher, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She has lived over nine years with unrelenting Rheumatoid disease. See also http://www.rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

2 thoughts on “Rheumatoid Arthritis News Articles, Volume 1

  • September 6, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    All the medical language is way over my head but I do know that I had tested positive for RA back in 1980, later in 1991 I had to have a quadruple bypass for blockages additinonaly in 1998 i was tested positive for diabetse and may have had it
    since at least 1965 or border line diabetic but didnt know it.
    fast forward to now I am tested again for RA and is positive but i have pain now in shoulders, arms, wrists, knees, shins and ankles every morning and continues for most of the day leaving me exhausted and tired and not wanting to do anything.
    I have tried asprin and even hydrocodien (2 x’s daily) 5mg, I think thats basically a starting dosage, but the doctor i have now is going to refer me to a rhematologist, hopefully
    something better can be planned oh and he allowed me 14 days on prednisone 5gm 2x a day, we backed off 10mg when it
    worked too well, i had no pain after 1 hour and we both felt
    that i could drop the dosage so the next day dropped it to 5g, it has impacted my insulin usage and find i had to double up on my dosages. other than that im fine.

    • September 6, 2010 at 9:00 pm

      “Other than that I’m fine.” Gee, Mike. You have enough, so I hope so. Good luck with the rheum doc. I hope you get some clear answers.


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