Friday 5 from Rheumatology Network – May 14

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The Friday 5 from Rheumatology Network is a list composed by the Rheumatology Network editorial staff aimed at highlighting relevant coverage of the latest news in rheumatology.

This week, the Friday 5 from Rheumatology Network highlights the latest rheumatic disease treatments and trends, why patients are avoiding healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how oral microbiome can be an indicator of rheumatoid arthritis.

1. Oral Microbiome Linked to Onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Both patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (ERA) and those at-risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) had a significantly different oral microbiome when compared with a control group. Most notably, the pro-inflammatory discriminative zero-radius operational taxonomic units (zOTUs), Prevotella and Veillonella, were much more prevalent in these groups than in patients with no history of autoimmune conditions.

2. Apremilast Monotherapy Proves Effective Treatment for Psoriatic Arthritis


Patients with oligoarticular psoriatic arthritis (PsA) receiving apremilast monotherapy fared better than those who initiated methotrexate (MTX) therapy or biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (bDMARD) initiators.

3. Biologics May Increase Risk of Infection in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Patients receiving csDMARDs had a significant reduction (40%) in non-serious infection (NSI) risk when compared with biologics.

4. Patients With Rheumatic Diseases Are More Likely to Avoid Healthcare During COVID-19 Pandemic

Poorer results were associated with lower socioeconomic status (SES) and not being able to access telehealth, which emphasizes the need for access to healthcare and attention to vulnerable populations, such as those with rheumatic diseases, during the pandemic.

5. Gender, Not Alcohol Consumption, is Linked to Remission in Patients With Inflammatory Arthritis

While men with inflammatory arthritis drink significantly more alcohol and have less severe disease activity, alcohol is not linked to disease remission.