A new survey sheds light on how rheumatoid arthritis affects female patients. Data collected from 1,958 women from seven countries, including the U.S., showed that almost three-quarters of patients (72 percent) suffered pain daily and that the women's disease had a negative impact on their social and professional lives. From a Medical News Today piece:
Women with RA reported suffering feelings of detachment and isolation and said that their condition had negatively affected intimate relationships; with 40% of single women stating that it was more challenging to find a partner and 22% of divorced or separated respondents indicating that RA played a role in their decision to separate from their partner. Sixty eight percent of women with RA reported concealing their pain from those closest to them, and 67% said they constantly look for new ideas to address the pain they suffer.
The survey further explored the negative impact of the disease and pain on respondents' productivity at work with 71% of those who were employed at the time of the survey (n=1,108), reporting they were less productive at work because of their RA. Many respondents reported that RA had a long term effect on their work life, with 23% of respondents stopping work altogether and 17% of respondents reporting a switch to part-time employment as a result of their RA.
The results are being presented at the EULAR 2010, the annual meeting of the European League Against Rheumatism, in Rome.
Previously: Rates of rheumatoid arthritis rising in women