A post about Rheumatoid Arthritis

Friday, December 23, 2011

Today, I thought I should share with you 22 facts about Arthritis. It's a good reminder to me that I'm incredibly lucky to be an active, functioning, happy young adult, who just happens to suffer from RA. :) 

  1. 1 in 5 adults living in the United States reports having doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
  1. Half of those Americans afflicted with arthritis do not think anything can be done to help them.
  2. Arthritis literally means inflammation of the joints.  However, some forms of arthritis inflame more than just joints and some cause very little inflammation.
  3. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, each differing widely in progression, cause, symptoms and method of treatment.  The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, affecting an estimated 21 million people.
  4. The cause of most types of arthritis is unknown.
  5. More women than men are afflicted with arthritis.
  6. All age groups are affected by arthritis, including about 300,000 children.
  7. 8.4 million adults between the ages of 18 and 44 have arthritis.
  8. More than half of those affected with arthritis are under age 65.
  9. Rheumatoid Arthritis, the second most common form of arthritis, occurs when the body’s immune system reacts against its own joint linings, causing painful inflammation.
  10. An estimated 0.3 to 1.5 percent of the U.S. population has rheumatoid arthritis.
  11. Most individuals with rheumatoid arthritis are between the ages of 20 and 40.
  12. People who are more than ten pounds overweight have an elevated risk of developing arthritis, especially in weight-bearing joints such as the knees.
  13. Rheumatoid arthritis, the most common chronic inflammatory arthritis, accounts for 22% of all deaths due to arthritis.
  14. Rheumatoid arthritis is also among the most serious and disabling types of arthritis because it strikes multiple joints, follows an unpredictable course and has no known cure.
  15. One of the most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is fatigue.
  16.  Arthritis pain can be caused by factors such as inflammation, damage to joint tissues, fatigue, depression or stress.
  17. Many forms of arthritis are systemic, i.e., they are not limited to the joints.  In such diseases, practically any organ of the body may be affected, including the heart, lungs, kidneys and skin.
  18. Fewer than 50% of people with rheumatoid arthritis who were working at the onset of the disease are still working 10 years later.
  19. About 60.7% of those diagnosed with arthritis are women (25.9 million), while 39.3% are men (16.8 million). 
  20. Regular exercise is an essential tool in managing arthritis. 
  21. Arthritis affects animals, too.  One in every five dogs in the United States has arthritis.

Oh, AND, Lucille Ball was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at 17. Me too. :)


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