Can Pre-exposure to Hydroxychloroquine Prevent COVID-19 in Patients with RA and SLE?
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, hydroxychloroquine became a hot topic as a possible treatment for the virus. Clinical trials largely found that the drug was not a viable treatment option. Meanwhile, questions arose of whether people who were already taking the drug to treat certain autoimmune diseases would perhaps be protected from COVID-19. But an observational study put that theory to rest in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): according to the researchers, hydroxychloroquine made no difference in mortality between patients whether they were or were not taking the drug. The study was published in The Lancet Rheumatology.
Baricitinib plus Remdesivir Helpful for Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19
Adding arthritis drug baricitinib to remdesivir may reduce recovery time in adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19, according to a study. The study randomized 1,033 patients: 515 received baricitinib and 518 received placebo. The median time to recovery was one day shorter in the baricitinib group compared to the control group. The baricitinib group was also 30% more likely to have improved clinical status at day 15. For patients receiving high-flow oxygen or noninvasive ventilation at the start of the study, the difference in time to recovery was more significant, with a median 10 days in the baricitinib group and 18 days in the control group.
What Does ‘Quality of Life’ Mean When You Have Psoriasis?
A qualitative study explored the quality of life in patients living with psoriasis—as well as what the phrase means to them. The researchers stated that “public health policies to increase knowledge and awareness of the general population about psoriasis are needed. This approach will help to explain the impact of psoriasis on a person’s life and, hopefully, reduce the prejudice surrounding it and facilitate social inclusion. After all, what defines a person goes far beyond their skin.”
Do Black Children Have Poorer Polyarticular JIA Outcomes When Initiating Treat-to-target Interventions?
Despite improvements over time, Black children with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) had poorer outcomes than White children throughout a treat-to-target intervention incorporating clinical decision support. Racial disparities were observed at the index visit. Black children had a significantly higher median Juvenile Arthritis Disease Activity Score (cJADAS-10) than White children. When adjusting for age, disease duration, and DMARD use, Black patients, compared to White patients, had a 3-point higher cJADAS-10 at the index visit. When looking at three specific cJADAS-10 components, Black patients had significantly higher physician global and patient global scores than White patients, but estimated joint count did not largely differ between the groups. Also at the index visit, Black patients had significantly higher adjusted pain scores and lower mobility, but upper extremity physical function did not largely differ.
Read more of this week’s highlights from the rheumatology section: