Six Surprising facts about Arthritis You Didn’t Know Before
Did you know that arthritis affects 15% of people, i.e over 180 million people in India? The frequency at which arthritis is affecting the country’s people is higher than common diseases such as diabetes, AIDS, and cancer. Arthritis is a progressive musculoskeletal disorder characterized by gradual loss of cartilage in joints which results in stiffness, pain, and impaired movement. Arthritis mostly affects the joints in the knees, hips, hands, feet, and spine. Here are some surprising facts about Arthritis.
Arthritis is more common among women than men. Women who are of age 20-40 are seen to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis that affects multiple joints, while older women suffer from knee osteoarthritis due to the wear and tear of the knee joint.
There are more than 100 types of Arthritis. The most common type of arthritis is Osteoarthritis followed by Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects joints in the body. Some other types of arthritis are: a) Fibromyalgia b) Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) c) Lupus d) Reiter’s syndrome e) Gout f) Pseudogout g)Polymyositis h) Psoriatic arthritis i) Lyme arthritis
Arthritis can impact cardiac health. According to the Arthritis Foundation, growing studies suggest that Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) increases the risk of heart disease. People with RA are more likely to suffer sudden cardiac death than those without the joint condition.
Arthritis cannot be cured but it can be well managed: Arthritis has no definitive treatment and cure, it can only be managed with a healthy lifestyle and treatment. It is important to avoid smoking, exercise in moderation, and maintain a healthy weight to manage the symptoms of arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is inherited: A study by the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society reported that first-degree relatives of a person with Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are three times more likely to develop arthritis than first-degree relatives of people who don’t have RA.
Pregnant women at high risk: A 2014 study presented at the American Society of Human Genetics found that women who carried babies with genes known to contribute to RA were more likely to have RA. Examples include babies born with the HLA-DRB1 gene. This is because, during pregnancy, a number of fetal cells remain in the mother’s body. Having remaining cells with DNA present is called microchimerism. These cells have the potential to alter existing genes in a woman’s body.