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Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers have their own online show -- with a twist

August 26, 2009 | 12:11 pm

Those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic, inflammatory form of arthitis that causes joint paint, stiffness and damage, now have something on the Internet they can call their own: an online talk show dedicated to the disease.

Hqq4y6kf "New Way RA" is hosted by the perennially perky Deborah Norville, whose mother suffered from RA, and features information, advice and tips from several experts, including Food Network host Ellie Krieger, Dr. W. Hayes Wilson, chief of the division of rheumatology at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, and personal trainer Ellen Shmueli, who was diagnosed with RA at age 28. A preview of the show (seeing the entire thing requires registration) features basic information on RA, but other segments include nutrition, relationships, fitness, and work and life balance.

While the show will no doubt be helpful for those diagnosed with RA, we should mention that the enterprise is backed by Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc., a pharmaceutical unit of Johnson & Johnson that produces, among other things, rheumatoid arthritis drugs.

Forbes reports via Reuters that the Food and Drug Administration recommends using greater caution with some arthritis drugs because of a possible cancer risk in children and teens. A spokesman for Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc. said the company will work with the FDA to come up with new warnings for the drugs.

-- Jeannine Stein

Photo: Deborah Norville. Credit: Jennifer Graylock / Associated Press