Research Roundup

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Debbie Rigby rounds up the latest in research news

EULAR recommendations for the diagnosis of gout

The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) has published updated evidence-based updated recommendations for the diagnosis of gout. Gout is the most common inflammatory arthritis, but is frequently misdiagnosed and suboptimally managed, despite effective treatments. One of the key recommendations states hyperuricaemia alone is not a diagnosis for gout. It also recommends that co-morbidities including obesity, renal impairment, hypertension, ischaemic heart disease, heart failure, diabetes and dyslipidaemia needs to be assessed and appropriately managed.

Ann Rheum Dis. 2020;79:31-8.


Rapid increase in intravenous iron therapy for women of reproductive age in Australia

Iron deficiency anaemia, which affects 14–22% of women of reproductive age, has adverse effects on pregnant women and their infants. This study investigated the use of intravenous iron by women of reproductive age, analysing dispensing data for a 10% random sample of Australians. In 2017, intravenous iron was dispensed to one in 50 Australian women of reproductive age, five times the proportion in 2013. The majority (90%) of these women received ferric carboxymaltose.

MJA, first published 26 May 2020.


Prolonged use of antipsychotic medications in long-term aged care in Australia

Data collected for the Australian Halting Antipsychotic Use in Long-Term Care (HALT) single-arm longitudinal deprescribing trial shows antipsychotics were prescribed for 2.2 years on average despite recommendations by a doctor or pharmacist for review in 62% of cases. Consent for antipsychotic prescription was accessible for only one case and contraindications for use were common.

International Psychogeriatrics 2020;32(3):335-45.


Warfarin and food, herbal or dietary supplement interactions

While most food, herbs and supplements can be safely taken in moderation with warfarin, this systematic review identified a number of complementary medicines that increase the risk of bleeding. These include Chinese wolfberry, chamomile tea, cannabis, cranberry, chitosan, green tea, ginkgo biloba, ginger, spinach, St. John’s Wort, sushi and smoking tobacco.

British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, first published 1 June 2020.

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