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Arthritis Research Canada at EULAR 2024

The EULAR European Congress of Rheumatology is the primary platform for exchange of scientific and clinical information in Europe. It seeks to provide a forum of the highest standard for scientific, educational and social exchange between professionals involved in rheumatology. It also incorporates liaising with patient organizations in order to achieve progress in the clinical care of people with rheumatic diseases.

The EULAR Congress attracts more than 18,000 delegates from over 130 countries and takes place in a major European city. This year, the EULAR Congress takes place in Vienna between June 12 and June 15.

To learn about Arthritis Research Canada research presented at the EULAR European Congress of Rheumatology (Day 3), please scroll down.

Comparative effectiveness of sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors for the risk of kidney stone among gout patients with type 2 diabetes: target trial emulation studies

This population-based cohort study using administrative health data from British Columbia showed that patients with autoimmune diseases and type 2 diabetes who were prescribed glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists had lower risk of death and major cardiovascular events, like heart attacks and strokes, than people who were prescribed another drug used for diabetes, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors. Both drugs are used for type 2 diabetes, but glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists lower blood sugars more effectively and help with weight loss.

Research Team: McCormick N, Yokose C, Lu L, Wexler D, Aviña-Zubieta J. A., De Vera M, Chen C, Mccoy R, Curhan G, Choi H.

What challenges and opportunities do physiotherapists encounter in integrating interventions to promote sleep in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis?

This study explored how physiotherapists and students integrate sleep health into practice when working with patients with arthritis through the Capability-Opportunity-Motivation-Behaviour system and the Theoretical Domains Framework. They identified nine facilitators and five barriers, including limited sleep knowledge and awareness of sleep resources, infrequent inclusion of sleep health in patient care, and lack of confidence in advising patients with arthritis on sleep. The findings highlight the need for tailored theory-informed behaviour change interventions to improve integration of sleep health in practice.

Research Team: Primeau C, Bayraktar D, Kho M, Tong C, Li LC.

Glucosamine and cancer incidence in patients with osteoarthritis: real-world observational study

This study examined whether glucosamine use reduces cancer risk in osteoarthritis patients. The results showed that using glucosamine did not make a difference in the risk of getting cancer, including lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers. 

Research Team: Suissa S, Comin E, Suissa K, Hudson M.

Clinical characteristics of anti-synthetase syndrome: analysis from the class project

This study explored which symptoms and blood markers are associated with anti-synthetase syndrome (ASSD), a rare autoimmune disease. Symptoms like arthritis, muscle pain, lung problems, and specific blood markers like anti-Jo-1 antibodies were more common in ASSD patients. However, symptoms like joint pain alone or muscle weakness were not strong indicators of ASSD. 

Research Team: Faghihi-Kashani S, Yoshida A, Bozan F, Zanframundo G, Rozza D,  Loganathan A,  Dourado E, Sambataro G, Bauer-Ventura I, Bae S, Lim D, Rivero Gallegos D, Yamano Y, Selva-O’callaghan A, Mammen A, Scirè CA, Montecucco C, Oddis CV, Fiorentino D, Bonella F, Miller F, I. Lundberg E, Schmidt J, Rojas-Serrano J, Hudson M, Kuwana M,  González-Gay MA, Mchugh N, Corte TJ, Doyle T, Werth V, Aggarwal R, Cavagna L, on behalf of The CLASS Project

Pregnancy outcomes in caps patients on il-1 inhibition

This study evaluated pregnancy outcomes in Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndromes (CAPS) patients exposed to IL-1 inhibitors before and during pregnancy. Overall, the study suggests IL-1 inhibitors can be safely continued during pregnancy in CAPS patients.

Research Team: Satirer Ö, Benseler S,Kuemmerle-Deschner JB

Outcomes in patients with pre-existing autoimmune disease on immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy for treatment of cancer

This study aimed to assess mortality risk in patients with pre-existing autoimmune diseases (AID) undergoing immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy. Using a large cohort from U.S. electronic health records, the researchers compared mortality rates between patients with and without auto-immune diseases receiving immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy for common cancers. After matching for demographics and co-morbidities, no significant difference in mortality risk was found between the two groups. These findings provide reassurance on the safety and efficacy of these therapies in patients with pre-existing auto-immune diseases.

Research Team: Challener G, Ma KSK, Kohler MJ, Yokose C,Choi H.

Risk of acute myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke in adults with ankylosing spondylitis: a population-based study

This study looked at everyone with ankylosing spondylitis in British Columbia and found that patients with ankylosing spondylitis have a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes than the general population of the same age and sex.

Research Team: Karacabeyli D, Avina-Zubieta JA, Lu N, Xie H, Lacaille D

Health information use by patients living with antiphospholipid antibodies and antiphospholipid syndrome

This study aimed to understand how patients living with antiphospholipid syndrome access health information and their trust in different sources. Surveying 69 patients, mostly female, the research found rheumatologists/lupus specialists, family physicians, and hematologists were the most accessed and trusted sources. Challenges communicating with healthcare providers were the obstacles most often expressed when gathering information about aPLs/APS. Although many patients reported turning to advocacy organizations, websites, and social media, some felt negatively impacted by these sources, suggesting a need for better patient resources and communication pathways.

Research Team: Kobza A, Cardwell F, Elliott S, Gibson P, Soliman N, Skeith L, Clarke AE, Barber M.

Comparable Safety and Effectiveness After Transition to a Biosimilar Anti-TNF in Inflammatory Arthritis: Population-based Evidence From a Policy Change

British Columbia’s health policy mandated that, for medication costs to be covered under the universal drug plan, current users of etanercept and infliximab for inflammatory arthritis had to transition to the corresponding biosimilar between May and December 2019, providing the context for a natural experiment. Using population-based data from everyone in British Columbia, this study found that biosimilar transition was not associated with higher rates of infections and healthcare resource utilization (i.e. hospitalizations, physician and emergency department visits) compared to continuing originator medications, suggesting that biosimilars are as safe and effective as originator biologics when used in inflammatory arthritis and there were no unintended adverse consequences from this health policy.

Research Team: Lacaille D, Moolooghy K, Aviña-Zubieta JA, Zheng Y, Lu N, Xie H.

Pediatric autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in treatment-resistant autoimmune diseases: a real-life single-center experience

This study analyzed Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (AHSCT) outcomes in 7 pediatric patients with severe, treatment-resistant autoimmune diseases. Results showed positive outcomes, with high survival rates and some patients achieving clinical remission of their autoimmune disease. While some patients experienced complications, AHSCT appears to be effective in treating severe autoimmune conditions, but more research is needed.

Research Team:Satirer Ö, Henes H, Doering M, Lesk T, Benseler S, Kuemmerle-DeschnerJB.

Back to the clinic? Evaluating pregnancy management outcomes in virtual and in-person care

This study investigated whether using telemedicine consultations throughout pregnancy affected pregnancy outcomes for women with rheumatic diseases, compared to in-person consultations. Patients were monitored at different stages of pregnancy and visits were categorized as either telemedicine or in-person. Results showed no significant difference in pregnancy complications between those who had mostly telemedicine consultations and those who had mostly in-person visits.

Research Team: Tan J, De Vera M, Amiri N.

The impact of biosimilar use on healthcare utilization among new users of etanercept for inflammatory arthritis: a population-based regression discontinuity analysis

Using the regression discontinuity design, this study provides real-world evidence on the overall performance of biosimilars in routine clinical practice, and on the impact of the health policy at the health system level. The study found no significant impact of biosimilar use on healthcare utilization among people who started new prescriptions of etanercept, suggesting equivalent real-world effectiveness and safety of biosimilars and originators.

Research Team: Zhou Y, Lacaille D, Zheng Y, Qian Y, Nosyk B, Xie H.

Pulmonary Functions and Respiratory Muscle Strength in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Case-Control Study

This study explored whether people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have differences in their lung function and respiratory muscle strength compared to healthy individuals. The authors found that people with RA had lower lung function and weaker respiratory muscles than their healthy counterparts. Additionally, people with RA reported feeling more breathless compared to the non-RA group.

Research Team: Can Sarac D, Inanc I, Başkan E, Ozturk A, Gucenmez S, Şentürk B, Ugur E, Oksuz A, Konan E, Solmaz D, Akar S,Bayraktar D.

The Factors Related to Physical Performance in Female Patients with Psoriatic Arthritis

This study explored what factors might affect how well women with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) can move and do everyday tasks (physical performance). Assessing factors like fatigue, spinal mobility, emotional status, and quality of life, the researchers found that some tasks, like bending to pick up things or getting up from the floor, were linked to how well people living with PsA said they could function and how active their PsA was. No correlation was found between their physical ability and how they felt emotionally.

Research Team: Inanc I, Solmaz D, Can Saraç D, Başkan E, Özkan A, Yucel K, Akar S, Bayraktar D.

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