(RxWiki News) It seems there are awareness days for every disease and condition. Surprisingly, an awareness day for rheumatoid arthritis has been lacking. Now, rheumatoid arthritis patients have their day of recognition.
The Rheumatoid Patient Foundation (RPF) has announced the creation of Rheumatoid Awareness Day, which will be held every year on February 2.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term illness that causes joint pain and inflammation. While rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis, there is still a lack of awareness about the disease.
This lack of awareness may explain why some patients find themselves without good accommodations for disability, proper clinical care and healthcare reimbursement. It may also be the reason for problems with research funding.
"Learn more about rheumatoid arthritis."
February 2 is already Groundhog Day - a fact that RPF Founder Kelly Young is well aware of.
"Compare disease onset to the moment the groundhog comes out of his hole to look for his shadow," said Young in an RPF statement. "It's impossible to predict how aggressive the disease will be or whether treatments will be effective. The six weeks that the groundhog forecasts correspond to the short window of opportunity for people with rheumatoid disease to get early diagnosis and treatment, which has been shown to be a crucial component for positive outcome."
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that gets worse over time, leading to damage of the joints and other organs. Patients may have severe pain, disability and an increased risk of death. About 1.6 to two million Americans are currently diagnosed with the disease.
While there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, there are medical treatments that can help. Still, many patients find that current treatments do not relieve all their symptoms.
February is also Heart Disease Awareness Month. Since heart problems are common complications of rheumatoid arthritis, it makes sense to kick off the month with Rheumatoid Awareness Day.
On this first Rheumatoid Awareness Day, RPF has planned a campaign to raise awareness and education about rheumatoid arthritis. RPF wants both patients and the public in general to get involved by sharing educational resources, boosting awareness through social media, taking part in a live online chat and donating to the cause.
RPF is a non-profit organization with the mission of improving the lives of people with rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile arthritis.