What is RA – Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting around 1% of the world’s population. The disease causes swelling and pain in the joints, and if left untreated, it can cause stiffness, joint destruction, and disabilities. RA can lead to reduced quality of life and diminished work capacity.
The causes of RA can be several different diseases like reactive arthritis after an infection, RA, gout, or psoriatic arthritis. However, there are two methods to detect these symptoms and joint inflammation:
- joint palpation by a rheumatologist
- and ultrasound.
Who does RA affect?
Although RA can begin at any age, the likelihood increases with age. The onset of RA is highest among adults in their sixties. Also, it is typically higher in women than men. Other characteristics that can influence the likelihood of having RA are genetics, smoking or obesity.
Early detection, followed by monitoring, plays a key role in managing and treating the disease. Ultrasound examination of joints has proven to be a sensitive imaging tool for detecting signs of early disease and evaluate arthritis activity in established disease. Unfortunately, ultrasound examinations have a long waiting list that delays the patients’ treatments.
ROPCA strives to play a key part in changing RA by offering automaed solutions for ultrasound scanning and image assessment.
Living with RA
This illness can be life-changing since it is probable that long-term treatment is needed. It will always depend on how much pain the patient has and how much he will need to adapt to his everyday life tasks, but the most important thing is to continue having self-care, as well as eating healthy and with exercise, taking the medicines instructed and attending the regular reviews.
Currently, there is no single test used to diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis. Doctors use several methods for Rheumatoid diagnosis, most commonly blood samples, and a full interview and examination conducted on the patient by a Rheumatoid specialist or doctor.
Blood tests are important as people with Arthritis can have sedimentation rate or C-reactive protein that indicates inflammation in the body. Afterwards, patients must forgo an X-ray of the chest, hands and feet.
- 0,3-1% of the grown population is affected
- Women are affected 3 times more than men
- RA often starts in age 50-70
- Up to 50% of patients looses the ability work after 10 years
- Only in rare cases does early RA not affect hands and feet
- Ultrasound is a powerful tool in detecting RA