Patients Around the Globe Band Together to Increase Awareness for Rheumatoid Arthritis
January 27, 2014 – Thousands of patients are joining an international movement to increase awareness for the chronic illness known as rheumatoid arthritis, or rheumatoid disease, in anticipation of the second annual Rheumatoid Awareness Day on February 2.
Rheumatoid Awareness Day was established in 2013 by the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation (RPF) to address the lack of awareness for rheumatoid arthritis — often presumed to be a type of arthritis — and resulting inadequacies in disability accommodations, clinical care, healthcare costs and research funding.
This year’s awareness day is expected to have an even larger reach and greater impact. Patients in the U.S. and Canada have already worked within their localities to establish several official proclamations for the observance of Rheumatoid Awareness Day, and local support is being seen across Europe and in New Zealand. “It’s exciting to be contacted by patients, organizations, and even clinicians from around the world asking how they can participate,” says RPF President Kelly Young. Another positive indication that the day is gaining momentum is medical media reaching out. “We know that this is the beginning of something important – something permanent,” says Young; “to bring this invisible disease out of the shadows, driving much needed assistance and research.”
RPF is encouraging individuals and organizations to get involved in the 2014 Rheumatoid Awareness Day by joining the Facebook event created for the day; participating in an online chat on February 2, with Mayo Clinic rheumatologist Dr. John Davis; sharing awareness images and education resources; and creating their own awareness events. RPF is asking participants to share what rheumatoid awareness means to them and to show how they are celebrating awareness by posting photos and personal blogs.
Additionally, Crescendo Bioscience is providing a matching grant for donations to RPF, up to $15,000. Crescendo Bioscience provides quantitative molecular tests and disease information services in the field of rheumatology; it’s initial product is Vectra® DA, the multi-biomarker blood test for rheumatoid arthritis. More information about Rheumatoid Awareness Day and how to be involved can be found at http://rheum4us.org.
About Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive inflammatory disease causing damage to joint and organ tissues, resulting in severe pain, frequent disability, and increased mortality. For most patients, current treatments neither relieve all symptoms nor assure a healthy future. Remission is rare. Rheumatoid disease affects about one percent of the world’s population, and Mayo Clinic says lifetime risk of the disease is 3.6 percent for women and 1.7 percent for men.
About the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation
RPF is a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with rheumatoid diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile arthritis. RPF was founded in 2011 to address a significant lack of disease education, comparatively low levels of research funding, and difficulty obtaining adequate treatment. RPF is committed to creating pathways to better clinical care and disease outcomes through education, awareness, and participation in patient-centered research. For more information, visit http://rheum4us.org or follow RPF on Facebook or Twitter.
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 Prince, F et al. Arthritis Research and Therapy. Sustained rheumatoid arthritis remission is uncommon in clinical practice. http://arthritis-research.com/content/pdf/ar3785.pdf
 Mayo Clinic. 2011. Mayo Clinic Determines Lifetime Risk of Adult Rheumatoid Arthritis. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21360492?dopt=Abstract