Arthritis Research Canada – Research Spotlights

from American College of Rheumatology’s ACR Convergence 2020


Day 5 – Monday, November 9 | 9 to 11 AM ET.


Arthritis Research Canada, Research Scientists:  Dr. G. Hazlewood (Calgary), Dr. S. Bartlett (McGill) Poster Presentation.

Title: Canadian Early Arthritis Cohort Study Longitudinal Patterns of Remission in Real-World Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: Results from the Canadian Early Arthritis Cohort (CATCH).

In CATCH, the largest group in the world of early RA followed from around the time of diagnosis, we examined how often and how long remission (i.e., RA disease activity none-minimal) lasted, and what factors contributed to loss of remission over a 12-24 month follow-up. We found that <50% of early RA patients who reached remission remained in remission for 12-24m. Female sex, more comorbidities, smoking, and being RF+ or anti-CCP+ were associated with a greater likelihood of staying in sustained remission. This suggests that on average disease control may not be optimal in most RA patients, and more research is needed to understand how to ensure RA remains well controlled over time. 

Research Team: Schieir O, Hazlewood G, Bartlett S, Valois MF, Bessette L, Boire G, Hitchon C, Keystone E, Pope J, Thorne C, Tin D, Bykerk V and Canadian Early Arthritis Cohort (CATCH) Investigators.

Arthritis Research Canada, Research Scientists:  Dr. A. Clarke (Calgary), Dr. P. Fortin (Laval). Poster Presentation.

Title: Outcomes After Hydroxychloroquine Reduction or Discontinuation in a Multinational Inception Cohort of Systemic Lupus.

We found that patients reducing or discontinuing hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) are at greater risk of having a poor outcome versus those maintaining the drug. These analyses do not account for reasons HCQ was reduced/discontinued.

Research Team: Almeida-Brasil C, Hanly J, Urowitz M, Clarke A, Ramsey-Goldman R, Gordon C, Petri M, Ginzler EM, Wallace DJ, Bae SC, Romero-Diaz J, Dooley MA, Peschken CA, Isenberg D, Rahman A, Manzi S, Jacobsen S, Lim SS, Van Vollenhoven R, Nived O, Jönsen A, Kamen D, Aranow C, Ruiz-Irastorza G, Sanchez-Guerrero J, Gladman D, Fortin P, Alarcón G, Merrill J, Kalunian K, Ramos-CasalsM, Steinsson K, Zoma A, Askanase A, Khamashta M, Bruce I, Inanc M, Bernatsky S.

Arthritis Research Canada, Research Trainee: N. Rebic (UBC), Research Scientists: Dr. G. Hazlewood (Calgary), Dr. M. De Vera (BC), Poster Presentation.

Title: Roles and Perspectives of Partners of Women with Rheumatoid Arthritis on Reproductive Decision Making: A Constructivist Grounded Theory Study.

Our findings demonstrate the far-reaching impacts of RA and reproductive decision-making on the partners of women with RA and highlight the need for comprehensive supports for both women with RA and their partners throughout family building and pregnancy.

Research Team: Garg R, Rebic N, Amiri N, Hazlewood G, Baldwin C, Ensworth S, Proulx L, De Vera M.

Arthritis Research Canada, Research Scientists:  Dr. A. Jones (UAlberta), Dr. D. Marshall (Calgary). Poster Presentation.

Title: The Relationship Between Patient-Reported Readiness for Total Knee Arthroplasty and the Likelihood of a Good Outcome at One Year.

Research Team: Hawker G, Conner-Spady B, Bohm E, Dunbar M, Jones A, Ravi B, Noseworthy T, Woodhouse L, Faris P, Dick D, Powell J, Paul P, Marshall D.

Arthritis Research Canada, Research Trainee: N. Rebic (BC), Research Scientists: Dr. G. Hazlewood (Calgary), Dr. N. Bansback (BC), Dr. M. De Vera (BC), Poster Presentation.

Title: Making Decisions About Medication Use, Pregnancy, and Having Children Among Women with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Constructivist Grounded Theory Study.

Our findings demonstrate that a patient-centred approach to care supports women with RA in making better reproductive choices that align with their individual values. By understanding the practical and emotional aspects of this process, healthcare providers can identify opportunities for intervention or care adaptation leading to improved health outcomes for women and babies.

Research Team: Rebic N, Garg R, Munro S, Hazlewood G, Amiri N, Bansback N, Ensworth S, Baldwin C, Proulx L, De Vera M.

Arthritis Research Canada, Research Scientist:  Dr. I. Colmegna (McGill), Poster Presentation.

Title: Determinants of Influenza Vaccine Hesitancy in Rheumatoid Arthritis According to the WHO-SAGE Matrix

Vaccine specific issues, personal preferences and health system related determinants (such as access) are causes of influenza vaccine hesitancy in people living with rheumatoid arthritis.

Research Team: Useche M, Valerio V, Wang M, Hazel EM, Panopalis P, Bernatsky S, Ward B, Colmegna I.

Arthritis Research Canada, Research Scientists:  Dr. Bartlett (McGill), Dr. Hazlewood (Calgary). Poster Presentation.

Title: Health Assessment Questionnaire Predicts All-Cause Mortality at One Year in Patients with Early Rheumatoid Arthritis

In people who have had RA for 2 or more years, higher disability (as reported on the HAQ scale) is associated with hospitalizations and early mortality. We evaluated how disability in the first year may impact mortality. We found that higher disability at 1 year (which may indicate the disease was poorly controlled) was associated with a 75% increase in mortality even after we controlled for age, sex, comorbidities, disease activity, smoking, education, and several other factors. Our results suggest that higher self-reported disability (high HAQ) at the end of the first year of RA contributes to higher mortality. 

Research Team: Fatima S, Schieir O, Valois MF, Bartlett S, Bessette L, Boire G, Hazlewood G, Hitchon C, Keystone EC, Tin D, Thorne C, Bykerk V, Pope J and Canadian Early Arthritis Cohort (CATCH) Investigators

Arthritis Research Canada, Research Scientists:  Dr. A. Jones (UAlberta), Dr. D. Marshall (Calgary). Poster Presentation.

Title: Do Comorbidities Limit Improvement in Pain and Physical Function After Total Knee Arthroplasty in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis?

For individuals with knee OA most comorbid conditions do not limit improvement in pain physical function and walking distance (6MWT) after TKA. Understanding response to OA treatment in individuals with comorbidities is important for individualized patient counselling. For patients living with comorbidities these findings are important as improvement in long-term OA outcomes may facilitate better engagement in self-management such as physical activity for their other conditions.

Research Team: King L, Waugh E, Jones A, Marshall D Hawker G.

Arthritis Research Canada, Research Trainee: Dr. M. Choi (Calgary). Poster Presentation.

Title: Assessment of the Impact of Interferon Levels on Cognitive Dysfunction in Patients with SLE.

Blood levels of an important marker of lupus activity and disease severity called interferon gamma were not correlated with cognitive impairment e.g. difficulties with thinking, memory, problem solving.

Research Team: Kwan A, Wither J, Diaz-Martinez JP, Green R, Beaton D, Kakvan M, Ruttan L, Tartaglia C, Fritzler M, Choi M, Su J, Bonilla D, Anderson N, Katz P, Touma Z.

Arthritis Research Canada, Research Scientist:  Dr. HK. Choi (UBC, Harvard). Poster Presentation.

Title: Effect of Cumulative Glucocorticoid Dose and Inflammation on Weight Change During Treatment of Giant Cell Arteritis.

We found that cumulative glucocorticoid exposure over 52 weeks is significantly associated with weight gain. However, the degree to which disease activity is controlled also contributes to weight gain, and modest weight gain may be an indicator of effective disease control.

Research Team: Serling-Boyd N, Fu X, Zhang Y, Unizony S, Wallace Z, Choi HK, Stone JH.

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