Top 5 Most-Read Rheumatology Articles of 2022

The top 5 most-read rheumatology articles of 2022 covered the topics of management of inflammatory arthritis and new inflammatory protein identification.

The top 5 most-read rheumatology articles published on examined the role of sex in inflammatory arthritis management, projected rising rates of osteoarthritis, and highlighted protein identification associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) inflammatory response

Here are the most-read rheumatology articles of 2022.

5. Researchers Identify Key Protein Driving Inflammation in RA

In September, a study found the protein sulfatase-2 (Sulf-2) may contribute to the inflammatory response in RA, identifying Sulf-2 as a possible therapeutic target. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors have been the treatment mainstay, but their use can result in patient resistance and risks of serious infection, immunogenicity, and malignancy that require the usage of other drugs.

Over the course of 2 years, researchers obtained cells lining the joints of people with RA, eliminated Sulf-2 from some cells, and stimulated all cells with TNF-α and saw that cells without Sulf-2 had a less predominant inflammatory reaction.

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4. Machine Learning–Based Predictors for RA Relapse Evaluated

Earlier this year, it was found that RA relapses were better predicted with the extreme gradient boosting (XGBoost) predictor than logistic regression and random forest, when evaluating in machine learning–based predictors of relapse. Compared with logistic regression and random forest, the decision tree–based ensemble algorithm of XGBoost uses gradient boosting for accuracy.

Accuracy for XGBoost was higher (area under the receiver operator characteristic curve [AUC] = 0.747) compared with logistic regression (AUC = 0.701) and random forest (AUC + 0.719), and the study authors noted, "similar predictive algorithms can potentially facilitate personalized treatment plans for patients."

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3. Osteoarthritis Is Still a Global Public Health Concern, Study Says

A Global Burden of Disease study found osteoarthritis (OA) continues to be a globally prevalent disease and that its totals will continue to increase because of populations aging and rising obesity rates. In almost 3 decades, OA increased worldwide by 113.25%: from 247.51 million cases in 1990 to 527.81 million in 2019.

Data were retrieved from 204 countries and territories between 1990 and 2019 for this study, and they showed that OA was more prevalent among female patients and in contries with a high sociodemographic Index.

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2. Study Finds 2 Factors Associated With Adverse Outcomes Among Pregnant Women With RA

A study found that among women with RA, a history of miscarriage and antinuclear antibody positivity were independent risk factors for adverse pregnancy outcomes (APOs). Twenty-nine of the women in the study (43.3% of the entire study population) encountered an APO, with 20.9 experiencing postpartum hemorrhage and 11.9% experiencing premature delivery.

Remission during pregnancy was also measured, with rates higher in women without APOs vs those who experienced APOs (P = .027). Study participants were followed up with at several time points during anaylsis: at least once per trimester and after delivery "to evaluate any associations between RA disease activity, medication use, and pregnancy outcomes," the investigators wrote.

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1. Abstracts Highlight Sex-Based Differences in IA Management

Abstracts presented at EULAR 2022 considered sex-related differences in the management of inflammatory arthritis (IA), such as electronic reporting of outcomes and disparities in the utilization of health care.

One abstract showed a decline in long-term adherence to electronic patient reported outcome measures (ePROMS), with a 42% reduction in ePROM app adherence between week 1 (81%) and week 26 (39%). The other abstract examined sex-related disparities in health care utilization for IA and found that the likelihood of seeing a rheumatologist or family physician earlier before IA diagnosis was higher for females while males exhibited a higher likelihood of going to an emergency department right before a diagnosis.

Read the full article.

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