Respiratory Tract Diseases May Increase Risk of RA Years Before Onset

Close up of hands affected by rheumatoid arthritis

There is growing evidence that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) originates in mucosal surfaces and a range of respiratory tract diseases are associated with RA. Now, researchers have demonstrated that the timing of respiratory tract disease diagnosis significantly affects the strength of each disease’s association with RA.

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New Treatment Strategy Proposed for Rheumatic Heart Valve Disease

Close up of valve replacement surgery where artificial valve is being implanted

Elena Aikawa, MD, PhD, Livia S.A. Passos, PhD, of the Heart and Vascular Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and colleagues have identified a protein that contributes to chronic rheumatic heart valve disease (RHVD) immunopathogenesis and has a role in the female predisposition to RHVD.

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High Prevalence of Parenchymal Lung Diseases in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis

CT scan of patient with emphysema in the lungs

Tracy J. Doyle, MD, Jeffrey A. Sparks, MD, MMSc, and colleagues identified a high prevalence of undiagnosed preclinical parenchymal lung disease in a rheumatoid arthritis cohort, with important clinical implications.

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How Might ICI Therapy Lead to Checkpoint Inhibitor-associated Arthritis?

2-dimensional visualization of CD38hi CD8 T cells in checkpoint arthritis synovial fluid

Immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapies have revolutionized the treatment of advanced cancers, but they have a downside. Rheumatologist Deepak A. Rao, MD, PhD, is part of a study examining the rheumatologic manifestation of checkpoint inhibitor-associated arthritis in patients treated with a specific ICI therapy.

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Pioneering Registry Remains a Driving Force in Rheumatoid Arthritis Research

Nurse walking down staircase with glass walls in background

The Brigham and Women’s Hospital Rheumatoid Arthritis Sequential Study (BRASS) has played an important role in advancing the study of rheumatic arthritis and development of related therapies. Co-principal investigator Michael E. Weinblatt, MD, discusses what this patient registry has helped make possible.

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No Increased Risk of VTE With Tofacitinib vs. TNF Inhibitors in Routine Care

3D Rendering of Tofacitinib Drug Molecule

The Brigham’s Seoyoung C. Kim, MD, ScD, Michael E. Weinblatt, MD, Rishi J. Desai, PhD, and colleagues have analyzed new data that shows no increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who use tofacitinib.

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‘Disease Deconstruction’ Approach Yields Insights on Autoimmune Diseases

Arthritic hand of a patient with rheumatoid arthritis

Brigham experts have taken a molecular-driven, single-cell approach to studying the underpinnings of autoimmune diseases—specifically rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Much of the work by Michael B. Brenner, MD, relies on “disease deconstruction,” an approach grounded in discovery-based research.

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Progress Towards a Midlife Risk Score for Decline in Women’s Physical Health and Function

Doctor sits with female patient, holding a clipboard and pen

Daniel H. Solomon, MD, MPH, and colleagues have examined data from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation to identify several risk factors that might form the basis of a clinically useful risk score, which may point to preventive or therapeutic midlife interventions.

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Interest in COVID-19 Vaccination High Among Patients With Systemic Rheumatic Disease

Doctor administers COVID-19 vaccine to patient

Daniel H. Solomon, MD, MPH, Sara K. Tedeschi, MD, MPH, and colleagues surveyed patients with systemic rheumatic disease (SRD) about their attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccination. They report high interest and a high trust in physician recommendations about vaccination.

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Nearly Half the Cost of Opioid Prescribing for Knee Osteoarthritis Is Unrelated to Care

Elena Losina, MD, PhD, of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and colleagues estimate the total lifetime cost of opioid use among patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis is $14 billion. 47% of that cost is unrelated to pain management or other clinical care.

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