Rheumatoid arthritis: Worse in women?

Jan 14, 2009

Women appear to suffer more from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) than men. This is revealed in research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Arthritis Research and Therapy.

Tuulikki Sokka from the Jyvaskyla Central Hospital, Finland, along with other members of the Quantitative Standard Monitoring of Patients with RA (QUEST-RA) program, explored possible associations between gender and disease activity measures, treatments, and clinical characteristics in more than 6,000 RA patients from 70 sites in 25 countries. She said, "The possible influence of gender and gender-related variables on the symptoms, severity, and prognosis of rheumatoid arthritis has been of considerable interest for some time. Generally, women report more severe symptoms, greater disability, and often have higher work disability rates than men."

The demographic characteristics of the group the authors studied were typical of an RA cohort; 79% were female, more than 90% were Caucasians and the mean age was 57 years. The patients were evaluated by a doctor and completed a self-report about their own condition. Women had higher scores (indicating poorer status) than men in all of the key measures, the gender gap being widest in the self-reported measures. According to Sokka, "Obvious differences between genders exist in the prevalence, age at onset, and level of production of harmful arthritis autoantibodies. Furthermore, women report more symptoms and poor scores on most questionnaires, including scores for pain, depression, and other health-related items".

However, the authors do speculate that most of gender differences may originate from the measures of disease activity rather than from the RA disease activity itself. Sokka said, "Women have less strength than men, which has as much of a major effect in the functional status of patients with RA as it does in the healthy population. In fact, the gender differences in musculoskeletal performance remain even among the fittest individuals - female and male athletes still compete separately. Given that woman is the "weaker vessel" concerning musculoskeletal size and strength and her baseline values are lower than men's, the same burden of a musculoskeletal disease may appear to be more harmful to a woman than to a man."

Journal: arthritis-research.com/

Source: BioMed Central

Explore further: West Africa's Ebola outbreak prompts changes in I.Coast cuisine

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Curry spice could offer treatment hope for tendinitis

Aug 09, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- A derivative of a common culinary spice found in Indian curries could offer a new treatment hope for sufferers of the painful condition tendinitis, an international team of researchers has shown.

Rheumatoid arthritis researchers redefine remission

Feb 03, 2011

The American College of Rheumatology today announced the release of two new provisional definitions of rheumatoid arthritis remission, which are to be applied to future RA clinical trials.

Fostamatinib proven to be safe but not effective

Jan 27, 2011

In a previous study, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients who failed to respond to methotrexate were shown to experience positive results with fostamatinib disodium (R788), an oral spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) inhibitor that ...

Casing the joint

Sep 07, 2010

Current research provides a novel model for rheumatoid arthritis research. The related report by LaBranche et al, "Characterization of the KRN cell transfer model of rheumatoid arthritis (KRN-CTM), a chronic yet synchronized ...

Recommended for you

Two expats die of MERS in Saudi commercial hub

13 hours ago

Two foreigners died of MERS in the Saudi city of Jeddah, the health ministry said Saturday, as fears rise over the spreading respiratory virus in the kingdom's commercial hub.

UAE reports 12 new cases of MERS

13 hours ago

Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced 12 new cases of infection by the MERS coronavirus, but insisted the patients would be cured within two weeks.

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

Apr 19, 2014

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds

Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her ...

How to keep your fitness goals on track

(HealthDay)—The New Year's resolutions many made to get fit have stalled by now. And one expert thinks that's because many people set their goals too high.

Low tolerance for pain? The reason may be in your genes

Researchers may have identified key genes linked to why some people have a higher tolerance for pain than others, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual ...

Growing app industry has developers racing to keep up

Smartphone application developers say they are challenged by the glut of apps as well as the need to update their software to keep up with evolving phone technology, making creative pricing strategies essential to finding ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.