By Will Boggs MD

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A variety of health maintenance issues faced by patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) require joint management by the gastroenterologist and the primary care team, according to a new clinical guideline from the American College of Gastroenterology.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one of the most common autoimmune diseases in the country with total health care costs approaching $19 billion each year. Over time, the chronic inflammation, left unabated can lead to progression of joint disease and irreversible destruction. The key to successfully treating this dreaded disease is to rapidly control the illness and maintain control.

Patients diagnosed with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis (PsA) are at an elevated risk for fracture and osteoporosis compared to the general population and patients with rheumatoid arthritis, according to a recent study by Ogdie and colleagues.1


Research recently presented at the 2016 Advances in IBD Conference showed that more than one-fifth of patients who were prescribed biologic therapy for inflammatory bowel disease were nonadherent.

Results of a multinational, randomized, equivalence study show that the investigational biosimilar PF-06410293 demonstrates equivalent efficacy to the biologic Humira (adalimumab; AbbVie) in patients with severe to moderate rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who had an inadequate response to methotrexate therapy.

Called REFLECTIONS B538-02, the study was undertaken to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity of PF-06410293 compared to the biologic Humira in patients with moderate to severe RA.

Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis has undergone rapid and significant changes in the past decade. With the advent of treat-to-target strategies, patients have seen improved outcomes, and clinicians have tackled the challenges of incorporating precise measurements, including biomarkers, into their daily practice.

For patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), the use of ultrasound is a technique that is demonstrating increased success in assessing the disease, according to Gutierrez and colleagues.1 Researchers are expanding the use of ultrasound for the assessment of extra musculoskeletal area such as skin and nails.

The medical board of the National Psoriasis Foundation has published treatment target guidelines for plaque psoriasis online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.1

An urgent need exists in the United States to establish treatment goals in psoriasis, according to the authors. With defined treatment targets, clinicians and patients can regularly evaluate treatment responses and perform benefit-risk assessments of therapeutic options individualized to the patient.

Psychological therapies can improve both mental health and daily functioning in irritable bowel syndrome, with cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) producing the greatest improvements to daily functioning, according to a new study.