Rheumatology in practice - 2009

Comment: Trusted drugs and new discoveries
Paul Emery
pp 3-3
Can medicines be too successful? This question can be raised with the case of the therapy for gout. The availability of highly successful and specific treatment with allopurinol relegated interest in gout to a very low level for many years.
Treatment options for gout
Thomas Rider and Kelsey M Jordan
pp 4-7
Gout is one of the oldest recognised diseases, first identified by the Egyptians in 2640 BC. Hippocrates later described the disease as ‘arthritis of the rich’, due to its association with rich foods and excessive alcohol. Currently, gout has a prevalence of 1.4% in the UK; this does not appear to be rising, unlike in many other countries around the world.
Lee Hurst: living with ankylosing spondylitis
Brian Hazleman
pp 8-9
The comedian and TV personality Lee Hurst has lived with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) for over 20 years. Here, he talks to Brian Hazleman about how it has affected his life and work – currently focused on Lee Hurst’s Comedy Club in east London – his coping mechanisms, and his opinions on the treatment available, while Dr Hazleman provides a clinical perspective.
Methods of testing for RA
Devesh Mewar and Gerry Wilson
pp 10-11
The past ten years have seen major advances in the management of individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). High-quality controlled trials have established the efficacy of conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) such as methotrexate, as well as an increasing range of newer biologic agents.
The role of bisphosphonates
Jason Seewoodhary, Sarah M Keidel and Sally E Edmonds
pp 13-15
Osteoporosis is a disorder characterised by low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration, with a resulting increase in bone fragility and susceptibility to fracture. It is a very important public health issue, because of the high morbidity and mortality of people with fractures. The incidence of osteoporosis-related fractures is increasing and this constitutes a major public health problem.
NICE osteoarthritis guidance
Claire Wenham and Philip Conaghan
pp 16-19
In February 2008, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued a comprehensive guide to the care and management of osteoarthritis (OA) in adults. In this article, the authors will draw out the key points from these recommendations with a view to updating front-line clinicians and highlighting areas of potential change in practice.

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ISSN 1366-6541 (Print)  ISSN 2052-3130 (Online)