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Early diagnosis key for rheumatoid arthritis treatment

Published on 09/03/2010
Earlier GP intervention and greater awareness of rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis could reduce the impact the condition can have on patients.

A recent report from the House of Commons' Committee of Public Accounts revealed that an estimated 580,000 people in England have the progressive, musculoskeletal disease, with 26,000 new cases diagnosed each year.

Growing evidence suggests that some patients visit their doctor up to four times before being referred to a specialist.

Lynn Love, director of operations at the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, said: "If GPs knew more about the disease, then they would more likely refer sufferers very rapidly to a rheumatology department.

"If people got diagnosed and were given effective treatment quicker, they would stand a chance of stopping the terrible destruction that can occur."

Experts recommend quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy weight for decreased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, which causes inflammation of the joints and can lead to reduced mobility.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010


Categories:  Health
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