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Meeting Highlights from The ACR/ARHP 2017 Annual Meeting

Meeting Information

November 3-8, 2017
San Diego Convention Center San Diego, CA

The American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals 2017 Annual Meeting featured groundbreaking science and clinical trends for optimizing patient care across the spectrum of rheumatic conditions. The annual convention attracted more than 16,000 professionals who convened in San Diego, California to consider the diagnosis and management as well as best-in-practice technology and patient-centered care. 

Practical Pain Management reported on four key program sessions, oral poster presentations and Meet the Professor discussions that focused on topics with a particular insight into pain management.

The topics presented in these meeting highlights include assessing the value of treating for asymptomatic hyperuricemia, supplementing vitamin D to improve pain relief, reinforcing the necessity of prescribing daily physical activity to promote quality of life across a spectrum of diseases of aging, and recognizing the atypical patterns of Sjogren's syndrome that challenge clinicians.

For the meeting highlight looking at Diagnosing and Treating Sjogren's Syndrome, clinicians will be directed to consider the 20% of patients who present with atypical symptoms rather than the anticipated primary complaint of dry eye. Frederick Vivino, MD, FACR, director of the Penn Sjogren's Syndrome Center and professor of clinical medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia addressed the challenge of diagnosing this complex autoimmune disease and offered the latest treatment option for these patients.

Dr. Vivino also mentioned the first US-based guidelines for treatment of Sjogren's syndrome, which may provide many clinicians with a clearer sense of the options, particularly for patients whose Sjogren's disease may require a treatment plan different from the standard approach.

Go out and walk may be a simple but essential message for every patient who presents with a chronic pain condition was the key message from Stephanie Studenski, MD, and Daniel White, PT, ScD, MSc, who offered a compelling argument for prescribing physical activity to lessen the pain in a range of chronic pain conditions for most patients.

Being physically active is necessary for more than preventive health as growing evidence suggests that mobility may improve outcomes for patients who suffer from chronic pain as they age.

In a presentation looking at the potential for vitamin D supplementation to enhance the pain relief for patients who have been unresponsive to standard treatments, Wai Chung Yong, MD, a primary care physician at Baystate Medical Practice in Boston, Massachusetts, shared findings from a systematic review of Vitamin D deficiencies that he conducted.

While still controversial, there is growing evidence to suggest recommending vitamin D supplementation for patients with fibromyalgia and other systemic pain conditions who are unresponsive to standard therapies.

In the final highlight, Michael Pillinger, MD, professor of medicine and biochemistry and molecular pharmacology at the New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City, focused on a lesser-known but common medical challenge: asymptomatic hyperuricemia, which remains a condition without a clear indication for or against treatment when gout is not already present. While the risks may not outweigh the benefits, there is insufficient data to offer calculated evidence on what might be best to prevent more signficant associated conditions such as cardiac, renal and metabolic diseases from occurring.

From this Meeting:

Some 20% of patients with Sjogren's syndrome will present with atypical features, such as no primary complaint of dry eye. Need for focused diagnosis is needed, and then use of the first US guidelines for treatment of Sjogren's is advised.
Being physically active is necessary for more than preventive health, growing evidence suggests that mobility may even lessen chronic pain conditions for many individuals as they age.
Any benefit in treating asymptomatic hyperuricemia remains unclear despite concerns about an increased risk of renal disease as well as associations with cardiac disease and metabolic syndrome.
While still controversial, there is growing evidence to consider vitamin D supplementation in patients with fibromyalgia and other systemic pain conditions who are unresponsive to standard therapies.
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