The Treatment Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

909 Words Dec 14th, 2015 4 Pages
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease of the joints that affects approximately 1.3% of the world population1. RA causes inflammation in the tissue lining the joints, which leads to joint swelling, pain and stiffness2. RA occurs three times more often in women compared to men3. While this sex bias in the prevalence of RA is not yet understood, it has opened a new field of research to investigate sex differences in RA and to gain a better understanding of the etiology and progression of this debilitating disease. Note: Although the terms sex and gender are used to refer to biological vs. psychosocial differences respectively, we have used these terms interchangeably in this paper to refer to sex/gender-related factors to which an individual may be exposed in his/her internal and external environment. Sex differences in RA have been observed at numerous levels. As already mentioned, RA is at least three times more prevalent in women than in men in all populations studied. When we take a step further to look at the progression and severity of RA, the relationship between sex and severity becomes more complex. From a biological perspective, females have been reported to have higher erythrocyte sedimentation rates than men, an indication of increased inflammation and hence, a higher severity of RA4. Women appear to exhibit higher levels of disease activity, which results from joint inflammation, and worse disability based on Health Assessment Questionnaires 5…
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