Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Day 2023: What is RA?

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most prevalent autoimmune diseases in the world.

The condition is not curable, but it can enter remission with appropriate and prompt treatment. The day’s goal is to raise awareness of the risks of RA and effective treatments.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Day fast facts

On February 2, the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation was founded to raise awareness of the disease on Rheumatoid Awareness Day. There are several severe disorders associated with it, a condition where the joints are affected, inflamed and damaged.

Here are some more details about RA [1]:

  • It affects approximately 1.5 million Americans.
  • There is a 2.5 times greater incidence of RA in women than in men.
  • The most vulnerable age group is between 20 and 50.
  • People of colour, non-Hispanic races and Hispanics all have higher risk of arthritis.
  • There is a greater risk of developing it if you live far from the equator.
  • Men’s RA rates decreased during that time, but women’s RA rates rose 2.5 percent between 1995 and 2007.

The purpose of Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Day is to dispel myths and raise awareness. The RA community, including people with the condition, their families, carers and healthcare professionals, are all mindful of people’s misconceptions about inflammatory arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis details and symptoms

Inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can impact our joints. Being an autoimmune disease means that the body’s immune system targets its own tissues. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include swelling of joint linings, excruciating pain, deformity, bone erosion and inflammation. 

In addition to its symptoms, RA can have a wide range of adverse impacts on the body. The illness may impact the bones, muscles, kidneys, heart and other organs.

Like the majority of autoimmune disorders, the ailment has no known cure. However, managing RA is possible with the right lifestyle choices and medication.

History and significance of Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Day

Alfred B Garrod coined the term “rheumatoid arthritis” in 1858. Previously, it was confused with osteoarthritis.

It was Garrod who clarified the name and distinguished between the two. It used to be possible to undergo traditional treatments such as leeching and bloodletting. There have been some developments in medicine containing heavy metals, and painkillers were not readily available before 1949. 

In 1988, methotrexate treatments became available for the first time. For some people, after going into remission, the illness may recur several months or weeks later.

In 2011, a group of patients established the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation [2]. A major objective of the group is to raise public awareness about the disease and possible treatments. As part of the foundation’s efforts to raise awareness of rheumatoid arthritis and dispel myths about it, Rheumatoid Awareness Day was founded in 2013.

The purpose of RA Awareness Day in 2023 is to learn more about Rheumatoid Arthritis and the latest information about the disease. You can get involved and organise a campaign and invite members of your neighbourhood.

Alternatively, you can volunteer at a medical camp if this is something you are not capable of doing on your own. On social media, spread knowledge about RA to your friends and other people [3].

[1] https://www.jagranjosh.com/general-knowledge/rheumatoid-arthritis-awareness-day-1675307360-1
[2] https://rheum4us.org/#
[3] https://www.latestly.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/rheumatoid-arthritis-awareness-day-2023-date-history-significance-what-is-ra-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-chronic-inflammatory-condition-4786244.html 

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