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Arthritis Research Canada at

ACR Convergence 2022

November 12

From Devastated to Empowered: How Patient Engagement in Research Changes Lives

Arthritis Research Canada – Arthritis Patient Advisory Board member Eileen Davidson describes her experience with patient engagement in research. She states that being involved in arthritis research as a patient collaborator has helped her to better manage her disease, engage with researchers and fellow patients, and share the benefits of that experience by creating quality content for sharing with the larger arthritis patient community and the general public. 

Patient Advocate: Eileen Davidson

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Patients Raising Awareness for Patients – A Collaborative Partnership Between Take a Pain Check Foundation and Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance

The objective of this piece was to describe efforts from two patient-led organizations, Take a Pain Check Foundation and the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance, in how they increase awareness of the unique challenges and barriers of young people living with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. The collaboration has been successful in creating a greater sense of community and understanding as we work towards a common goal of increasing patient knowledge and confidence in decision-making through social media, events, initiatives and more.

Patient Advocate Team: Trehan N, Proulx L.

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Emergency Department Utilization by Persons with Inflammatory Arthritis Conditions Varies by Geographic Location of Residence.

To assess disparities in access to care, this study looked at differences in emergency department use by persons with inflammatory arthritis based on whether they lived in rural or urban locations in Alberta. Rural residents were twice as likely to end-up having to use emergency department for the care they need, their visits were more frequently assessed to be less urgent or non-urgent, and more frequently occurred during weekdays. Emergency department visits for arthritis flares was not different between urban and rural people with inflammatory arthritis.

Research Team: Barnabe C, McLane P, Luca N, Chomistek K, Elliott M, McQuitty S, Katz S, Davidson E, Hildebrandt C, Lin K, Holroyd B, Barber C.

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Women with Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Less Likely to Achieve Rapid and Sustainable Remission: Results from the Canadian Early Arthritis Cohort Study.

This pan-Canadian study following patients with early rheumatoid arthritis over time looked at sex differences in remission. They found that almost two-thirds of people achieved remission at some point during follow-up, and this was the same in men and women, but women achieved remission later and that remission was less likely to be sustained for 12 or 24 months in women than men.

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

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What Drives Racial Disparities in Gout in the USA? – Population-Based, Sex-Specific, Casual Mediation Analysis.

Using data from the US general population, we found that, contrary to historical beliefs, gout is more common among Black adults in the US, especially Black women, than White adults. Different factors explained the racial differences among women than among men; for example, higher BMI and poverty levels explained much of the difference between Black vs. White women, but not between Black and White men.

Research Team: McCormick N, Lu N, Yokose C, Joshi AD, Merriman TR, Saag KG, Zhang Y, Choi HK.

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Sex-Based Variations in Emergency Department Utilization by Persons with Inflammatory Arthritis Conditions.

This study evaluated differences in emergency department use in Alberta by persons with inflammatory arthritis based on sex. Significant differences were found in the proportion using the emergency department, the acuity assigned at the triage desk, the time of day and day of week of presentations, and the reason for the visit including flares, as well as the frequency of being admitted to hospital or having a return visit, according to sex and the type of arthritis.

Research Team: Barnabe C, McLane P, Luca N, Lin K, Chomistek K, Elliott M, McQuitty S, Davidson E, Hildebrandt C, Katz S, Holroyd B, Barber C.

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A Web-based Education Program Improves Health Care Provider Knowledge for the Care of Cancer Patients Receiving Immunotherapy Who Develop Rheumatic Immune-related Complications, and Those with Pre-existing Rheumatic Disease: An Initiative of CanRIO.

CanRIO.ca – a web-based, open access educational platform was found to be an effective tool for improving knowledge about rheumatic complications of cancer immunotherapy of healthcare providers around the world. Developed by CanRIO, a Canadian network founded by Arthritis Research Canada scientists dedicated to the study of immune adverse effects of cancer drugs, the educational website was used by almost 900 users across 36 countries.

Research Team: Roberts J, Lau K, Ennis D, Hudson M, Jamal S, Katz S, Ye C.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Care Experiences of Black People Living in Canada: A Qualitative Study to Inform Treatment Guidelines.

Interviews were conducted with people with rheumatoid arthritis who identify as Black to explore their  healthcare experiences in receiving treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Findings will be used to inform future Canadian guidelines for rheumatoid arthritis treatment that uphold equity for Black people living in Canada.

Research Team: Thomas M, Barnabe C, Kleissen T, Lacaille D, Hazlewood G, Hassen N, Henry R, English K, Kuluva M, Fifi-Mah A, Johnson N.

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Effectiveness of Upadacitinib in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis in Canadian Real-World Practice: Interim Results from the CLOSE-UP Post-Marketing Observational Study

This study evaluated the effectiveness of upadacitnib, a new medication belonging to the class of JAK-inhibitors, when used in real-world clinical practice for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Consistent with clinical trial data, interim analysis of this real-world Canadian study showed that disease activity was reduced, and patient reported outcomes improved with an overall favorable benefit to risk profile for Canadian patients receiving upadacitnib.

Research Team:Haaland D,Chan J, Lisnevskaia L, Chow A, Girard T, Fournier PA, Bessette L

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Comparative Risks of Infection with Belimumab versus Oral Immunosuppressants in Patients with Non-Renal Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

In this large cohort of patients with non-renal SLE, after rigorous propensity score overlap weighting to balance multiple covariates, belimumab was associated with a lower risk of severe infection and hospitalizations due to severe infection compared to several comparative oral immunosuppressants. This finding should inform risk/benefit considerations for SLE treatment.

Research Team: Materne E, Choi H, Zhou B, Costenbader K, Zhang Y, Jorge A.

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Comparative Risk of COVID-19 Among Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus According to Immunosuppressant Use

We found that belimumab use was associated with a lower 1-year risk of COVID-19 compared with alternative SLE immunosuppressants. This effect was moderated at 2 years. As this study period coincided primarily with the alpha variant of SARS-CoV-2, and COVID-19 vaccinations were not widely available until the final months of the study period, we did not assess the impact of newer variants or vaccination on the risk of COVID-19 among belimumab users. However, our findings provide some reassurance that the risk of COVID-19 for SLE patients using belimumab is similar or lower than that of other immunosuppressants.

Research Team: Jorge A, Zhou B, Zhang Y, Choi H.

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The Burden of Coronary Artery Calcification in ANCA-Associated Vasculitis

Coronary artery calcification is common in AAV and associated with renal function and the inflammatory state. Compared with PR3-ANCA+, CAC burden in MPO-ANCA+ was greater than expected based on age, sex, and race. These findings support prior observations that MPO-ANCA+ AAV has a higher risk for CVD. The overall burden of CAC was not greater than expected for age, sex, and race. This has been observed in other inflammatory conditions (e.g., HIV) where non-calcified plaque is a strong contributor to CV risk2. Prospective studies are needed to comprehensively investigate both calcified and non-calcified plaque among patients to elucidate factors driving CV risk.

Research Team: Parakh A, Cook C, Fu X, Hedgire S, Stone J, Choi H, Lu M, Wallace Z.

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Contemporary Incidence of Lupus Nephritis Among Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in the United States

Coronary artery calcification is common in AAV and associated with renal function and the inflammatory state. Compared with PR3-ANCA+, CAC burden in MPO-ANCA+ was greater than expected based on age, sex, and race. These findings support prior observations that MPO-ANCA+ AAV has a higher risk for CVD. The overall burden of CAC was not greater than expected for age, sex, and race. This has been observed in other inflammatory conditions (e.g., HIV) where non-calcified plaque is a strong contributor to CV risk2. Prospective studies are needed to comprehensively investigate both calcified and non-calcified plaque among patients to elucidate factors driving CV risk.

Research Team: Jorge A, Zhou B, Nestor J, Zhang Y, Choi H.

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