Table of Contents
- 1 An in-depth look at what Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) really is and Pain relief for Rheumatoid Arthritis
An in-depth look at what Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) really is and Pain relief for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system starts to destroy the joints. This creates inflammation which damages the cartilage (the elastic tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint) and potentially the bones themselves.
How does Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) damage the cartilage?
- The joint spacing between bones can become smaller.
- Joints can become loose, unstable, painful and lose their mobility.
- Irreversible symmetrical joint deformity can also occur (if one knee or hand if affected, usually the other one is affected too)
- Systemic body damage can occur (Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) can also affect body systems, such as the cardiovascular or respiratory systems)
Can I be affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?
Women develop Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in a 2:3 ratio compared to men – Nearly three times as many women have the disease as men.
In women, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) most commonly begins between ages 30 and 60 while in men it occurs a bit later in life.
The probability of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) occurring increases when a family member is already suffering from the disease. However, a majority of people with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) have no family history of the disease.
What is the Human and Economic impact of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?
Below are ways in which Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) affects the economy and the human toll it takes:
- Only 7 percent of all Rheumatologists practice in rural areas, where 20 percent of the population lives.
- The lost productivity associated with rheumatoid arthritis is substantial. Because of its progressive nature, many individuals report missing work or choose not to work because of disease-related disabilities.
- Approximately 20 percent to 70 percent of individuals who were working at the inception of their rheumatoid arthritis were disabled after seven to 10 years.
- One study that followed employees with early-stage rheumatoid arthritis, and found a 39 percent prevalence of work disability after 10 years.
- The indirect cost of Rheumatoid Arthritis due to lost productivity has been estimated to be nearly three times greater than the costs associated with treating the disease.
- Approximately one-fourth to one-half of all patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis become unable to work within 10 to 20 years of follow-up.
- Among those who did miss work, employees with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) missed more days than employees without the disease.
- In 2015, estimated national indirect costs of RA-related absenteeism from work in the US were $252 million annually.
- Mortality hazards are 60-70 percent higher in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) compared with those in the general population, and the survival gap between patients with RA and those without RA appears to be only widening.
- There were 323,649 hospitalizations for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA; mean age 61.0 years; men, 21.5 percent) between 1993 and 2011. During this time, the annual hospitalization rate for patients with a principle discharge diagnosis of RA declined from 13.9 to 4.6 per 100,000 US adults.
- In addition to imposing enormous indirect costs, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) extracts an increasing amount of health care resources. Based on 2005 U.S. Medicare/Medicaid data, total annual societal costs of RA (direct, indirect, and intangible) increased to $39.2 billion.
- The direct and indirect costs included annual excess health care costs to RA patients of $8.4 billion, and costs of other RA consequences of $10.9 billion. These costs translate to a total annual cost of $19.3 billion. The intangible costs included of quality-of-life deterioration ($10.3 billion) and premature mortality ($9.6 billion).
Rheumatoid Arthritis treatment and management strategies
Below if a look at some of the options available for the treatment and management of RA.