Rheumatoid Arthritis in Women
Friday, April 10, 2009

Rheumatoid arthritis is often a more painful experience for women than it is for men, even though the visible symptoms are the same. Dr. Edward Hill takes a look at a study that examined the effects of rheumatoid arthritis on men and women in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Rheumatoid arthritis may not only be more common in women than men, it may also take a tougher toll on women.

A study published online in Arthritis Research & Therapy included about 6,000 patients in 25 countries, including the United States.

The patients completed surveys about their pain, fatigue, swollen joints and rheumatoid arthritis treatment.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. It can also cause inflammation of the tissue around the joints, as well as in other organs in the body.

Women reported more severe rheumatoid arthritis symptoms than men, although there werenít major gender differences in rheumatoid arthritis treatment. Women were also less likely to be in remission for their rheumatoid arthritis; 30 percent of the men were in remission, compared to about 17 percent of the women.

The reason for the gender gap isnít clear but the researchers think the difference in size and strength between men and women could play a role.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.