BERLIN—The world of arthritis research is drawing a clearer picture of the kind of patient who might develop infections, a significant recent step forward in understanding the link between infection and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), one expert reported at the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) 2012 Annual European Congress of Rheumatology, held June 6–9.
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“I think what’s more interesting is not whether there’s an increased risk of infection with people with arthritis,” said Alan Silman, MD, professor and medical director at Arthritis Research UK in Chesterfield, U.K. “I think what is developing is an understanding of whether we can identify which patients we need to worry about. And, if we know which patients we need to worry about, that is going to help us interpret the information about the potential level of risk from anti-TNFs [tumor necrosis factor inhibitors] and other biologics.”
In another talk during the session, Lars Klareskog, MD, professor and chair of the department of rheumatology at the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, talked about the importance of taking nuanced action to prevent comorbidities associated with RA.
Earlier research, Dr. Silman said, has suggested strongly that environmental factors play a role in the development of RA. For someone with a monozygotic twin with RA, the chance of having RA is just 15%. Declines in the incidence of RA suggest that there is an environmental factor at work in the development of RA—and that factor might very well be infection.| | | Next → | Single Page