News in brief: DMARDs impact RA admissions; COVID-19 vax survey for patients; QOL impact from OA comorbidities

Inverse relationship between DMARD use and RA admissions

The increased use of conventional DMARDs followed by biologic DMARDs has led to a significant decline in hospital admissions for patients with rheumatoid arthritis in WA over 20 years.

A study presented at ARA 21 compared DMARD prescription data and hospital admissions for RA between 1995 and 2004.

It found RA admissions fell from 7.9 to 2.6/1,000 admissions between 1995 and 2002 while conventional DMARD use rose from 1.45 to 1.84 defined daily doses (DDD)/1,000 population/day.

“In 2003–2014, there was a further decrease in the number of RA admissions, whereas the use of conventional and bDMARDs increased from 1.95 to 2.19 DDD/1000 population/day and from 0.01 to 1 DDD/1000 population/day, respectively.”

“These data indicate that improved disease management has contributed to a large reduction in hospital admission rates and associated healthcare costs.”


COVID-19 vaccination survey for rheum patients

The COVID–19 Global Rheumatology Alliance is inviting people with rheumatic disease to participate in their COVID-19 Vax Survey.

The international survey aims to further understanding of the barriers and facilitators that people with rheumatic disease encounter regarding COVID-19 vaccination.

“The information provided from this study will improve our understanding of factors that influence decision-making regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and ways of addressing any barriers encountered,” the FAQs on the survey site said.

The Survey, available in nine languages including English, is open to any adults with a rheumatic disease.

Comorbidities in OA impact quality of life 

Patients with osteoarthritis (OA) may benefit from improved management of cardiovascular and non-OA musculoskeletal conditions.

A study from the Tasmanian Older Adult Cohort found health-related quality of life over ten years was lower in OS patients with two or more comorbidities than in patients with no comorbidities.

Cardiovascular and non-OA musculoskeletal conditions had particular negative impacts on independent living, psychological wellness, and social relationships.

The researchers, led by Dr Ting Zhao from the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, said optimal management and prevention of these conditions may yield improvements in OA patients’ quality of life.


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