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                                Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Worse in Women Than it is in Men?
                                                               By Nathan Wei



   Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common inflammatory form of arthritis and affects approximately
2.1 million Americans. For years, it has been common knowledge that rheumatoid arthritis is more
common in women than it is in men. The ratio has ranged any where from 60-70 per cent women
greater than men.

 Now... a new Finnish study has proposed that rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect women much more
aggressively than it does men.

In the study, women tended to complain much more of symptoms like aches, pains and tiredness even
when they appeared to have the same level of disease as men.

 Details of their study of over 6,000 patients from 25 countries was published in the January 2009 issue
of Arthritis Research and Therapy.

 In this study, men and women were asked to complete questionnaires about their disease and
underwent x-rays and multiple laboratory tests to assess how advanced their arthritis was.

The lead researcher, Dr Tuulikki Sokka, stated, “The level of rheumatoid arthritis appears to be pretty
much the same in both sexes but the symptoms of joint tenderness and things like that appear to be
worse in women. We found that women tell us they have more severe symptoms."

 While it is tempting to hypothesize it is because women are “weaker”, which is what the Finnish
researchers posited, it is more likely that other factors account for this finding.

It may be that muscle mass plays a role and that damage due to rheumatoid arthritis may become
much more apparent and symptomatic because of this factor.

 Hormonal imbalance may play a role since rheumatoid arthritis is not only more common in women
but it tends to go into remission in women who become pregnant. This is a phenomenon that still defies
explanation.
 Women also tend to be less reticent to voice their complaints.


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 Another possibility voiced by British researchers commenting on the study suggested that women may
actually have more severe disease than men do.

 Measurements of disease activity are not gauged according to gender. In clinical trials, measurement
of disease activity is the same whether the patient is male or female. This may skew results in a study
of this magnitude.

Women may actually suffer from a more severe variant of the disease.

This hypothesis is supported by another observation.

 The British researchers commented that when they looked at the data, they noted that women tended
to have more erosions (destruction of bone) than men did."

Nathan Wei, MD FACP FACR is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist. For more
info:  http://www.arthritis-treatment-and-relief.com/arthritis-treatment.html Arthritis Treatment and
http://www.tendonitis-treatment-tips.com Tendonitis Treatment Tips




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                                                Causes For Rheumatoid Arthritis
                                                         By Roger Thompson



 Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the white blood cells of the body begin to attack the membranes
surrounding the joints, called the synovium. This causes the synovium to become inflamed, and can
eventually cause damage to the bone, cartilage and tendons around it. The result is pain and swelling
in the joint area, and the eventual deterioration of the joint itself. While medical professionals
understand this part of the process in rheumatoid arthritis, the actual causes of rheumatoid arthritis are
still unknown. There are many theories involving the causes of rheumatoid arthritis, and these theories
have helped doctors to understand some of the risk factors that are involved. Doctors are still seeking
answers to questions about why some people are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and others are
not.

There are many possible causes of rheumatoid arthritis that are being studied today. For example, it is
thought that this disease may be a result of a virus or bacterium that causes an infection in the body
could be the culprit in the cause of rheumatoid arthritis as well. However, no specific agent has been
identified so far, and there is still a question as to why some exposed to certain viruses may eventually
be diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and others are not. There are other risk factors that are known
to increase your odds of being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at some point in your life. These
include a genetic predisposition to the illness, although genetics do not seem to be a direct cause of
rheumatoid arthritis. This disease seems to strike most often in women as they grow older, but the risk
falls considerably after the age of eighty. Exposure to an infection can increase your risk, but only if
you are prone to the disease in the first place. Finally, excessive smoking over a number of years can
also increase your risk of rheumatoid arthritis, along with a host of other illnesses.

If you have any of these risk factors, you can discuss with your doctor the causes of rheumatoid
arthritis and the likelihood that you will be diagnosed with the illness. If you are considered to be in the
high risk category, such as having an immediate relative that has been diagnosed already, you can be
alert to the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, so that you know when to call your doctor. If you are
noticing painful swelling in a number of your joints on both sides of your body, your doctor can run
some tests to see if you indeed have rheumatoid arthritis. Early diagnosis can mean a more effective
treatment plan in the long run.

For More Information Please check http://www.arthritisreliefhelp.info

Roger Thompson writes articles on arthritis & pain relief for http://arthritisrelief.info




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