Osteoarthritis – A Neglected Disease?

Osteoarthritis – A Neglected Disease?

New research

New research shows that  Rheumatologists are significantly more likely to underestimate the impact of osteoarthritis than rheumatoid arthritis, even though patients with osteoarthritis often have more pain and a greater burden of disease than patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is often a "neglected disease," said EULAR President Gerd Burmester, MD, from Charité Universitätsmediz in Berlin.

This is a problem, given that almost everyone develops some form of the disease as they age. In Europe, it is estimated that nearly twice as many women as men older than 60 years have osteoarthritis.

"People think that rheumatoid arthritis is a very important disease and that osteoarthritis is trivial and there is nothing we can do about it," said Dr Burmester. "This is simply not true, and this study underlined that."

The key to treating osteoarthritis might well be to take a multidisciplinary team approach, in which patients have access to a range of physicians and therapists, or at least access to some form of physical therapy, he said.

"If you have a team of professionals, you can treat at least some forms of osteoarthritis well," Dr Burmester explained.

"It is really important to be aggressive with osteoarthritis," said Dr Castrejon. "It's important to advise patients to be active, to exercise as much as they can, and be mindful that obesity is more strongly related to osteoarthritis than rheumatoid arthritis. There are strategies that we can use to help improve quality of life for patients with osteoarthritis."

Taken from article in www.medscape.com  dated 8th June 2016