Arthritis Research Canada – Research Spotlights

from American College of Rheumatology’s ACR Convergence 2020


Day 3 – Saturday, November 7 | 9 to 11 AM ET.


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

Title: Hydroxychloroquine Dose Reduction and SLE Flares.

Guidelines for daily hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) dosages are lower than the traditional daily dosage for most lupus patients, but it is unknown whether lower dosages remain effective for controlling lupus disease activity. We found that lupus patients had more disease flares following HCQ dose reduction.

Research Team: Jorge A, Ho G, Wu M, Costenbader K, Choi HK.

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

Title: The Effects of Dietary Macronutrients on Serum Urate: A Secondary Analysis of the OmniHeart Trial.

A DASH-pattern diet emphasizing plant-based protein lowered serum urate compared with those emphasizing carbohydrates or unsaturated fat. These findings suggest that a DASH-pattern diet emphasizing plant-based protein may enhance serum urate reduction.

Research Team: Belanger M, Wee C, Mukamal K, Miller E, Sacks F, Appel L, Shmerling R, Choi HK, Juraschek S.

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

Title: Prospective Study of the Patterns of Joint Involvement for Sequential Gout Flares.

We found that people with gout were more likely to experience repeated flares in the same joint, on the same side of the body, rather than the opposite side.  This could help understand the causes of ongoing flares.

Research Team: McCormick N, Yokose C, Chen C, Neogi T, Hunter D, Choi HK, Zhang Y.

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

Title: Systems Approach to Understanding Reasons for Influenza Vaccine Hesitancy in Rheumatic Diseases.

Over a third of patients with rheumatic disease that attend outpatient rheumatology clinics either refuse or are uncertain about getting the influenza vaccine (vaccine hesitant). Concerns about vaccines safety, and distrust in the ability of pharmaceutical companies to provide safe and effective vaccines are the two main determinants of influenza vaccine hesitancy among these patients.

Research Team: Valerio V, Useche M, Field E, Wang M, Hazel EM, Ward B, Colmegna I.

Arthritis Research Canada: N. Leo Lu, Research Trainee: Dr. N. McCormick (Harvard), Research Scientist: Dr. HK Choi (UBC, Harvard), Poster Presentation.

Title: Fast Food Habits and Serum Urate Change in Young Adults: 15-Year Prospective Cohort Analysis

Fast food consumption has strong positive associations with serum urate (the precursor to gout), suggesting that fast food increases the risk of hyperuricemia and gout. The observed association is likely mediated by weight gain and changes in insulin resistance.

Research Team: Yokose C, Lu N, McCormick N, Choi HK, Zhang Y.

Arthritis Research Canada, Research Scientists: Dr. I. Colmegna (McGill), Dr. M. Hudson (McGill) Poster Presentation.

Title: Sunlight Exposure, Sun-protective Behaviour, and Anti-citrullinated Protein Antibody Positivity: A General Population-based Study in Quebec, Canada

Given previous studies showing that people exposed to greater amounts of sunlight had a lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis, this study looked at whether sun light exposure and use of sunblocks in a population-based study in Quebec was associated with auto-antibodies known to predispose to rheumatoid arthritis. No association with sunlight exposure was found, but an association with pollutants was found.

Research Team: Zhao N, Smargiassi A, Colmegna I, Hudson M, Fritzler M, Bernatsky S.

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

Title: Polynesian-Specific Gout-Associated Frameshift Variant in PRPSAP1.

The gene PRPSAP1 has been suggested to have a causal relationship with hyperuricemia (increased serum urate, which is the precursor to gout). A variant of this gene is associated with increased risk of gout in Polynesian people, perhaps by increased production of urate in the liver.

Research Team: Leask M, Dalbeth N, Stamp L, Merriman T, Phipps-Green A, Topless R, Boocock J, Choi HK, Leaupepe K, Stahl E.

Arthritis Research Canada, Research Scientists:  Dr. P. Fortin (Laval), Dr. L. Michou (Laval) Poster Presentation.

Title: CLEC12A Expression as a Potential Predictor of Disease Activity in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis.

In this project, we observed that a protein expressed at the cell surface of white blood cells of patients with a recent diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis may predict rheumatoid arthritis clinical activity at six months.

Research Team: Vaillancourt M, Desaulniers P, Paré G, Pagé N, Lachaab A, Kerever A, Julien AS, Amiable N, Pelletier M, Tessier P, Bessette L, Fortin P, Michou L, Fernandes M.

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

Title: Retinal Toxicity in a Multinational Inception Cohort of Systemic Lupus Patients on Hydroxychloroquine.

Our study found that in recent-onset SLE patients receiving HCQ, the probability of retinal toxicity increases after 10 years of cumulative use.

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


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