Menopause is associated with worsening of symptoms in women with Rheumatoid arthritis


Menopause is associated with worsening of symptoms in women with Rheumatoid arthritis
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Menopause is associated with worsening of symptoms in women with Rheumatoid arthritis

Menopause is associated with worsening of symptoms in women with Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic autoimmune inflammatory disease that affects mainly the small joints of the hands and feet. Morning stiffness (i.e. difficulty in moving around)  is a characteristic feature of Rheumatoid arthritis.

The prevalence of it in India has been estimated to be 0.7%.RA is 2 to 3 times more common in women compared to men. According to arthritis foundation:  Symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis  in women most commonly appears between ages 30 and 60. While it often occurs later in life in men. 

An observational study conducted in USA showed menopause is associated with worse functional decline in women with RA. A total of 8189 women who  had developed RA before menopause participated in the study .Study also noted that Women who had increase hormonal exposure  had less functional decline. Theses women were either :

  • who had longer length of reproductive life,
  • who were ever pregnant or
  • have used Hormone replacement therapy.

Authors of the study suggested further need of study to evaluate role of hormonal involvement in Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and functional status .

Image source: ghr.nlm.nih.gov