Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and damages the joints and, sometimes, other organs. RA is a chronic and inflammatory disease that causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of function in the joints and other areas of the body.
Some people think that Rheumatoid Arthritis is just like any regular arthritis like osteoarthritis, which is caused by normal wear and tears and affects the cartilage in joints. The biggest problem in people getting it mixed up is that quite often people who have Rheumatoid Arthritis quite often develop Osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) seems to affect more women than men probably because of the actions of female hormones in their body mechanisms. There is no clear-cut scientific reason why this is so, but some school of thought refers to the nature of women and their role in reproduction.
Most people who start with this disease are aged between 30-60. However, anyone can actually get RA but you find the older have it worse than the younger but that’s just because they have been living with the disease for longer.
RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS AWARENESS WEEK – 13th – 19th September – Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Week (RAWW) is an annual campaign created by NRAS to raise awareness of the condition and eliminate misconceptions by educating and informing friends, family, and employers of those with RA and the general population about what rheumatoid arthritis truly is.
Since the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) was founded in 2001, one of our key aims has been to increase public understanding and awareness of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as distinct from other forms of arthritis. Whilst we have come a long way, there still remains a significant challenge in clarifying the misconceptions based on RA.
In 2013, NRAS started a campaign called Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Week (RAAW) to raise awareness of the condition and eliminate these misconceptions by educating and informing friends, family, employers of those with RA and the general population about what rheumatoid arthritis truly is. RA is very different to osteoarthritis (OA) in that it can strike at any age over 16. It is an auto-immune disease, which is a key differentiating factor to OA and means that in addition to joints, it can affect internal organs such as the heart, lungs, and eyes. There are very serious consequences to late diagnosis or lack of targeted appropriate treatment.
Touch Medical Media writes that although there is no cure for RA, early diagnosis and treatment mean that many people affected can go for longer periods without ‘flare-ups’ – sometimes months or years. As Peter C. Taylor notes, “There have been enormous advances in the development of effective treatments for this condition in recent decades and there are now many available medications.”
Awareness of the condition and catching the signs early are integral to receiving the most effective treatment. NRAS’s aim is to spread greater awareness of what to look out for, so more people seek the right help sooner, and also to dispel myths surrounding RA through their 2022 #RAFactOrFiction campaign (get involved).
touchIMMUNOLOGY supports Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Week (RAAW) and its global goal to find better treatments and improve the lives of people with RA. Learn more by delving into the content library of video interviews, conference highlights, journal articles and clinical trial updates.