News in brief: EULAR welcomes new President; Mortality rates in AAV/PAN patients pinpoint areas for focus; Two risk factors that double the odds of radiographic OA progression;

Tuesday, 22 Jun 2021

EULAR welcomes new President 

Professor Annamaria Iagnocco, Turin, Italy, has been sworn in as the new president of EULAR, succeeding Prof Iain McInnes, Glasgow, UK.

Prof Iagnocco, who is Head and Professor of Rheumatology at the Academic Rheumatology Centre said her focus would be on inclusion, education and setting new milestones EULAR’s strategy.

Speaking at the opening plenary session at the recent  EULAR congress Prof Iagnocco added that another important part of her  presidency is to further strengthen international collaboration, “especially with our partners from other continents”.

Mortality rates in AAV/PAN patients pinpoint areas for focus

Australians with ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV) and polyarteritis (PAN) are at a three-fold increased risk of death compared to the general population, research from WA shows.

The population-based study comparing 614 AAV/PAN patients with 6672 controls found 229 AAV/PAN patients died over 5277 person years of follow-up compared with 1009 controls over 73835 person years.

Survival was reduced in patients with AAV/PAN compared with matched controls (HR 3.5)  and matched WA population rates (standardised mortality ratio 3.3).

Greatest excess mortality was observed in the first year after diagnosis and was particularly increased for patients aged over 60 years at diagnosis, found the study published in Rheumatology.

The mortality hazard ratio for vasculitis, infection and non-infective respiratory disease were greatest early after diagnosis and remained persistently elevated.

The findings pinpoint potential areas of focus for reducing mortality, the authors led by Dr Joanna Tieu from The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide say.

Two risk factors that double the odds of radiographic OA progression  

Researchers have identified two clinical risk factors that can double the odds of progression in people with mild radiographic knee OA.

The longitudinal observational study of 498 participants taking part in the ‘Long-term Evaluation of Glucosamine Sulfate’ trial found that radiographic OA progression occurred in 58 participants (12%) over one to two years.

Clinical factors independently associated with radiographic progression were the use of NSAIDs (adjusted odds ratios 2.05)  and not meeting physical activity guidelines (OR 2.07).

While acknowledging that the observational nature of the study meant no firm conclusions could be drawn, the authors speculated that potential mechanisms for the NSAID findings may be the physiological effect of the drugs, the representation of people with more severe symptoms, or that people taking NSAIDs may be more likely to be physically active.

Likewise, the physical activity findings could be a result of the physiological effect of low physical activity, an association with poor general health or comorbidity, or the presence of more pain or activity limitations.


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