What Are The Mortality Rates Among Canadians With Or Without Rheumatoid Arthritis
Between 20072008 and 20162017, age-standardized all-cause mortality rates decreased among females with diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis and among males with diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis . Mortality rates were consistently higher among males compared to females.
Over the surveillance period, the age-standardized all-cause mortality rate ratios were relatively stable ranging from 1.7 to 1.6 in females and from 1.5 to 1.7 in males. While rate ratios were similar among females and males, they showed an increase in mortality risk among those with diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis.
Figure 4: Age-standardizedFootnote e all-cause mortality rates and rate ratios among Canadians aged 16 years and older with and without diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis , Canada,Footnote f from 20072008 to 20162017
- Footnote e
How Your Ra Treatment Plan Prevents Disease Progression
Perhaps the biggest factor that affects how RA progresses is if youre in treatment with a specialist who can put you on medications to slow the disease. Being on a DMARD or biologic therapy for RA is the best way to prevent progression, Dr. Lally says.
Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs are usually the first line in medication. Methotrexate is the anchor drug for rheumatoid arthritis, Dr. Bhatt says. Some patients are scared because methotrexate is also used for cancer chemotherapy so they dont want to take a chemo pill, but those we use for RA are a very small dose with lesser chance of side effects. Your doctor will reassess in a month or so and see if its necessary to add in other drugs.
If after three to six months they have still not responded then we progress to medications called biologics, Dr. Bhatt says. These genetically engineered drugs target the inflammation process specifically, and are usually self-injected or infused via IV in your doctors office or a medical center. There are sub-classes and different types, Dr. Bhatt says. Your doctor will try various medications to see which you respond best to.
Jak Inhibitors And Ra
- Tofacitinib is the first in a new class of “small molecule” medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis called JAK inhibitors. Tofacitinib is a treatment for adults with moderate to severe active RA in which methotrexate was not very effective. Patients can take tofacitinib with or without methotrexate, and this prescription drug is taken by mouth two times a day. Tofacitinib is a “targeted” drug that only blocks Janus kinase, special enzymes of inflammation, within cells. This is why it is referred to as a JAK inhibitor. JAK inhibitors are not used with biologic medications.
Don’t Miss: How Do You Reverse Arthritis
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints. Within the body, joints are the points where bones come together and allow for movement. Most of these joints those called synovial joints also provide shock absorption.
RA is an autoimmune condition, in which your immune system mistakes the linings of your joints as “foreign” and attacks and damages them, resulting in inflammation and pain.
Is There A Cure For Rheumatoid Arthritis
There is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis. However, with early, aggressive treatment with DMARDs, many patients are able to achieve remission, meaning the symptoms of RA are quiet. Sometimes, the dose of medications may be reduced when remission is achieved. It is unusual for rheumatoid arthritis to remain in remission if medications are stopped, and when this does occur , symptoms and signs usually come back over time. For this reason, it is not advisable to stop rheumatoid arthritis medications unless advised to do so by a rheumatologist.
Read Also: Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect Your Skin
Favorite Orgs For Essential Rheumatoid Arthritis Information
The American College of Rheumatology is an organization for physicians, health professionals, and scientists that advances rheumatology through education, research, advocacy, and practice support relating to the care of people with arthritis and rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. It publishes two medical journals and promotes research into rheumatological conditions.
The Arthritis Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, control, and cure of arthritis. The foundation provides information and resources, access to optimal care, advancements in science, and community networking.
CreakyJoints is a leading support, education, advocacy, and research organization for people living with arthritis and rheumatic disease. It is dedicated to raising awareness of all forms of arthritis, which includes educating people about the available varieties of treatment and management strategies.
Low Disease Activity In Dmard
The 2015 ACR guideline preferred methotrexate for csDMARD monotherapy in DMARD-naïve patients with low disease activity.2 The 2021 update, however, conditionally recommends hydroxychloroquine over other csDMARDs, sulfasalazine over methotrexate, and methotrexate over leflunomidefor DMARD-naïve patients with low disease activity .1
You May Like: How To Relieve Arthritis Pain In Thumb
Help Make A Difference By Getting Involved Today
Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis
Thankfully, early diagnosis of RA has greatly improved over recent years. In years prior, many doctors would simply diagnose arthritis, erroneously delaying specific treatments, for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Research has found, though, that RA follows a common pattern in the joints, and is more detectable through simple blood tests and X-rays as RA tends to cause bone damage, too.
There are a number of medications on todays market that aid in both the reduction of inflammation and help modify the disease to essentially back RA into remission. While these are certainly welcome treatments, its our mission at the Arthritis National Research Foundation to continue working for a CURE to Rheumatoid Arthritis!
Signs and Symptoms of RA
- Pain and/or aching in more than one joint
- Stiffness in more than one joint
- Tenderness and swelling in more than one joint
- Mirrored symptoms on both sides of the body
- Weight loss
What is ANRF doing for RA research?
At the ANRF, we provide research grants to the best and the brightest researchers in the field of arthritis and RA. In fact, one of our earliest recipients, Dr. Gale Morrie Granger, was responsible for globally advancing the field of RA significantly with his discovery of the molecule that initiates the inflammatory process in Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is on his discovery alone that many of todays most effective medications have been produced.
What Are The Treatments
Medicine and lifestyle changes can often control symptoms and slow these diseases.
Medication. Many drugs can now treat RA and other autoimmune disorders. Some are used for pain relief. Others target inflammation. Early treatment with drugs like these may be the best way to prevent joint damage. See your doctor to talk about your options.
Lifestyle choices. While you canât change your genes, you can sometimes change how you live. That can help your treatment work better.
Even if you donât have an autoimmune disease, but you think you might be at risk, these steps may help lower your chances.
Also Check: Does Exercise Help Arthritis In Back
How Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect The Entire Body
Like many autoimmune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis typically waxes and wanes. Most people with rheumatoid arthritis experience periods when their symptoms worsen separated by periods in which the symptoms improve. With successful treatment, symptoms may even go away completely .
Although rheumatoid arthritis can have many different symptoms, joints are always affected. Rheumatoid arthritis almost always affects the joints of the hands , wrists, elbows, knees, ankles, and/or feet. The larger joints, such as the shoulders, hips, and jaw, may be affected. The vertebrae of the neck are sometimes involved in people who have had the disease for many years. Usually at least two or three different joints are involved on both sides of the body, often in a symmetrical pattern. The usual joint symptoms include the following:
These symptoms may keep someone from being able to carry out normal activities. General symptoms include the following:
Heres Why The Disease Progresses What To Expect And How To Stop It
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition for which there is no cure. But even though the disease is progressive, newer disease-modifying drugs may actually be able to slow or even halt it getting worse. We have many effective treatments for RA that help control the symptoms of joint pain and stiffness, but also prevent progression of the disease and the development of permanent damage, says Lindsay Lally, MD, a rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.
Early treatment for RA is key, because whatever joint damage has already occurred cant be reversed. Find out how to recognize the symptoms at each stage of RA, and what can be done to treat it.
You May Like: What Can You Do For Arthritis In The Neck
What Are The Types Of Arthritis
There are several types of arthritis. Common ones include:
- Ankylosing Spondylitis is arthritis that affects the spine. It often involves redness, heat, swelling, and pain in the spine or in the joint where the bottom of the spine joins the pelvic bone.
- Gout is caused by crystals that build up in the joints. It usually affects the big toe, but many other joints may be affected.
- Juvenile Arthritis is the term used to describe arthritis in children. Arthritis is caused by inflammation of the joints.
- Osteoarthritis usually comes with age and most often affects the fingers, knees, and hips. Sometimes osteoarthritis follows a joint injury. For example, you might have badly injured your knee when young and develop arthritis in your knee joint years later.
- Psoriatic Arthritis can occur in people who have psoriasis . It affects the skin, joints, and areas where tissues attach to bone.
- Reactive Arthritis is pain or swelling in a joint that is caused by an infection in your body. You may also have red, swollen eyes and a swollen urinary tract.
- Rheumatoid arthritis happens when the bodys own defense system doesnt work properly. It affects joints and bones , and may also affect internal organs and systems. You may feel sick or tired, and you may have a fever.
Arthritis is seen with other conditions. These include:
Measures To Reduce Bone Loss
Inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can cause bone loss, which can lead to osteoporosis. The use of prednisone further increases the risk of bone loss, especially in postmenopausal women.
You can do the following to help minimize the bone loss associated with steroid therapy:
- Use the lowest possible dose of glucocorticoids for the shortest possible time, when possible, to minimize bone loss.
- Get an adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D, either in the diet or by taking supplements.
- Use medications that can reduce bone loss, including that which is caused by glucocorticoids.
- Control rheumatoid arthritis itself with appropriate medications prescribed by your doctor.
Recommended Reading: Can Arthritis Cause Numbness In Hands
Rheumatoid Arthritis Vs Osteoarthritis
Many people confuse rheumatoid arthritis with osteoarthritis due to their similar symptoms, but the two diseases are caused by different factors.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Whereas rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes joint malfunction due to inflammation, osteoarthritis is a mechanical disease brought on by the destruction of joints through wear and tear.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, with approximately 27 million Americans over the age of 25 having been diagnosed with it. Osteoarthritis is also most commonly seen in people middle-aged to elderly and is the top cause of disability in those age groups, though it can also appear in younger people who have sustained joint injuries.
With osteoarthritis, the cartilage, joint lining, ligaments, and bone are all affected by deterioration and inflammation. When the cartilage begins to break down due to stress or changes in the body, the surrounding bones slowly get bigger and begin to fail.
Osteoarthritis is a slowly progressing disease and occurs in the joints of the hand, spine, hips, knees, and toes. Furthermore, risk factors of this disease most often stem from lifestyle or biological causes, such as:
Osteoarthritis sometimes occurs alongside rheumatoid arthritis or other disease, such as gout.
Diseases Linked To Rheumatoid Arthritis
Though rheumatoid arthritis typically affects the joints, it can also affect other parts of the body such as the skin, heart, lungs, eyes, nerves and blood vessels. Since rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, the treatment involves the use of oral or biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.
At times, the use of such immunosuppressive drugs can give rise to certain side effects. It is also believed that ailments or infections associated with rheumatoid arthritis could be attributed to the prolonged use of certain drugs. Here are some of the diseases that are associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Recommended Reading: What Is Good For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Dmards For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are the primary medication utilized in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. DMARDs are classified by drug product design:
- conventional synthetic
- biologic such as tumor necrosis factor inhibitors
Table I lists the FDA-approved DMARDs indicated for RA within each classification.
When To Get Medical Advice
See a GP if you think you have symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, so they can try to identify the underlying cause.
Diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis quickly is important, because early treatment can prevent it getting worse and reduce the risk of joint damage.
Find out more about diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis.
Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause Hair Loss
Rheumatoid arthritis, which is 2.5 times more common in women, is a chronic disease that affects more than 1 million people in the United States. Unfortunately, people with RA can also experience hair loss. Keep reading to uncover what RA is, and how it can contribute to hair loss. Plus, what you can do right now to support your body in growing thick, healthy hair.
Points To Remember About Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that mostly causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of function in joints.
- RA may cause you to feel unusually tired, to have occasional fevers, and to have a loss of appetite.
- Treatments can include medications, ongoing care from a doctor, and surgery.
- The goals of treatment are to help relieve pain and swelling, prevent, slow, or stop joint and organ damage, and help you take part in daily activities.
- You can do many things to help you cope with RA, including finding a balance between rest and exercise, keeping a healthy weight, taking care of your joints, talking with your doctors, family, and friends, and managing your stress.
Read Also: What Is The Worst Kind Of Arthritis
Where Can People Get Additional Information On Rheumatoid Arthritis
From the 2015 national meeting of the American College of Rheumatology:
- There are many new biologic treatments for rheumatoid arthritis on the near horizon. Many of these are being studied with and without simultaneous methotrexate. Some block chemical messengers and some block specific cell types of inflammation.
- The significant benefit of treating lipid/cholesterol profiles in patients with rheumatoid arthritis to improve long-term risks of stroke and heart attack was emphasized.
- Diets higher in fish, grains, and vegetables decrease the risk of developing RA. The Western diet, defined as including more processed meats, increases the risk. It is not certain whether this is because of a direct anti-inflammatory effect of the fish, grains, and vegetables or because of changes in the natural bacteria in the gut.
For more information about rheumatoid arthritis as well as living with RA and for support groups, please consider the following:
- National Institute of arthritis https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/rheumatoid-arthritis
- National Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Clearinghouse
How Is Arthritis Treated
There are many treatments that can help relieve pain and help you live with arthritis. You should talk to your doctor about the best treatments for you, which can include:
- Medications to relieve pain, slow the condition, and prevent further damage.
- Surgery to repair joint damage or relieve pain.
Doctors who diagnose and treat arthritis and other rheumatic diseases include:
- A general practitioner, such as your family doctor.
- A rheumatologist, who treats arthritis and other diseases of the bones, joints, and muscles.
Recommended Reading: Does Anti Inflammatory Diet Help Arthritis
Osteoarthritis Vs Rheumatoid Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting about 27 million people in the United States. Osteoarthritis is caused by degeneration of cartilage, and is also known as degenerative arthritis. In contrast, rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the immune system attacking the joints. This autoimmune process causes systemic inflammation, while in osteoarthritis, mechanical degeneration causes localized inflammation.
Osteoarthritis commonly affects a single joint, such as one knee. Trauma, such as multiple injuries playing sports, is a risk factor for osteoarthritis. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis usually affects three or more joints, in a symmetric distribution . Rheumatoid arthritis frequently, but not always, causes elevation in blood levels of substances that are markers of systemic inflammation such as the ESR and CRP . In contrast, osteoarthritis does not cause abnormal blood test results. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are hereditary. For example, if a woman has osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, her/his children are at increased risk of developing the same type of arthritis.
How Many Canadians Live With Rheumatoid Arthritis And How Many Are Newly Diagnosed Each Year
Approximately 374,000 Canadians aged 16 years and older live with diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis and 23,000 were newly diagnosed in 20162017. The prevalence and incidence of diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis generally increase with age and are higher among females compared to males .
Figure 1: Prevalence of diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis by sex and age group, Canada,Footnote a 20162017
- Footnote a
Read Also: Is Turkey Bad For Arthritis
Prognosis For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis decreases life expectancy by 3 to 7 years, with heart disease, infection, and gastrointestinal bleeding accounting for most excess mortality drug treatment, cancer, as well as the underlying disease may be responsible. Disease activity should be controlled to lower cardiovascular disease risk in all patients with RA. recommendations for cardiovascular disease risk management in patients with RA and other forms of inflammatory joint disorders.)
At least 10% of patients are eventually severely disabled despite full treatment. Whites and women have a poorer prognosis, as do patients with subcutaneous nodules, advanced age at disease onset, inflammation in 20 joints, early erosions, cigarette smoking, high erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and high levels of RF or anticyclic citrullinated peptide .