Rheumatology Network's Top 5: February 5, 2021

Take 5 minutes to catch up on Rheumatology Network's highlights from the week ending February 5, 2021.

1: Tocilizumab Does Not Improve Outcomes for Patients With Severe COVID-19

Tocilizumab is an interleukin 6 (an inflammatory cytokine) inhibitor approved for treating a variety of rheumatic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis. As studies have shown that an increased level of interleukin 6 directly correlates to poor COVID-19 outcomes, investigators speculated that blocking this activity could be a helpful tool in treating the virus and lessening its severity.

2: Latino Patients With Rheumatic Diseases are at Higher Risk of Contracting COVID-19

The primary objective of this retrospective study was to understand why Latino patients were being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Of the patients observed, 32 (18%) developed COVID-19 during the study period, meaning incidence rates were 5- to 11-fold higher than the general population (1,540 to 3,431/100,000).

3: Alice Fike, MS, NP: Latino Patients Disproportionately Affected by COVID-19

This week, we sat down for an interview with Alice Fike, MS, NP, from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), to discuss her study titled “Risk factors for COVID-19 and rheumatic disease flare in a US cohort of Latino patients.” The primary objective of this retrospective study was to understand why Latino patients were being disproportionately affected by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

4: Etanercept Shows Greater Improvements in Treating Psoriatic Arthritis Than MTX Monotherapy

In this 48-week, phase 3, randomized controlled trial, investigators examined patient-reported outcomes of patients with psoriatic arthritis receiving methotrexate monotherapy, etanercept monotherapy, or a combination of both drugs.

5: Rheumatoid Arthritis Quiz: What Factors Increase Risk of Developing RA?

This week's rheumatoid arthritis quiz was developed by Fotios Koumpouras, MD, Director of Education and Training and Director of the Yale Lupus Program at Yale School of Medicine.