Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Women Experience More Pain Than Men Do, Study Suggests

Date:
September 15, 2008
Source:
Karolinska Institutet
Summary:
Rheumatoid arthritis is often a more painful experience for women than it is for men, even though the visible symptoms are the same. Scientists are now saying that doctors should take more account of these subjective differences when assessing the need for medication.

Rheumatoid arthritis is often a more painful experience for women than it is for men, even though the visible symptoms are the same. Scientists are now saying that doctors should take more account of these subjective differences when assessing the need for medication.

For reasons yet unknown, rheumatoid arthritis is roughly three times more common amongst women than men. Moreover, several studies also suggest that rheumatoid arthritis eventually impairs the life quality of female suffers more than it does that of male sufferers. Here, too, the underlying reasons are unclear, but scientists have speculated that the medicines used affect women and men differently.

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet are now to present a study that gives vital clues as to why the prognosis is gender-specific. They have shown that men who undergo standard therapy for rheumatism respond significantly better than women having the same treatment – both objectively, such as in the degree of swelling in the joints, and subjectively in terms of their own experience of the disease.

This and other findings are being presented at a congress currently in progress on gender medicine arranged by Karolinska Institutet.

“Purely objectively, the drug had a somewhat better effect on the men than on the women,” says associate professor Ronald van Vollenhoven, who led the study. “But the greatest difference was of a subjective nature. The women in the study felt sicker even when their joints showed the same improvements.”

According to Dr van Vollenhoven, it is important to take into account subjective difference when judging the severity of the disease. If doctors only consider the physical symptoms, people with severe pain might be deprived of the most effective medicine, which, owing to high costs and the risk of side-effects, is only given to the worst sufferers.

In a follow-up analysis, scientists compared the degree of disease in men and women who had received ‘biological’ medicines, which are only given to people who are considered seriously ill. The results of their study showed that while women and men who had been put on a course of treatment were at the same level as regards the objective manifestations of the disease, women felt themselves to be sicker than the men.

“Women and men have been treated on equal terms from the perspective of the doctors, but it’s possible that no one has been aware of the fact that the pain can be worse for women than for men,” says Dr van Vollenhoven. “Since our objective is to reduce suffering, we should try to take more account of the subjective aspects of rheumatoid arthritis.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Karolinska Institutet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. "Rheumatoid Arthritis: Women Experience More Pain Than Men Do, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080912091734.htm>.
Karolinska Institutet. (2008, September 15). Rheumatoid Arthritis: Women Experience More Pain Than Men Do, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080912091734.htm
Karolinska Institutet. "Rheumatoid Arthritis: Women Experience More Pain Than Men Do, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080912091734.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
App Fights Jet Lag With The Power Of Math

App Fights Jet Lag With The Power Of Math

Newsy (Apr. 13, 2014) Researchers at the University of Michigan have designed an app to fight jet lag by adjusting your body's light intake. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treatment Gaps Endangering Cops, Mentally Ill

Treatment Gaps Endangering Cops, Mentally Ill

AP (Apr. 10, 2014) As states slash funding for mental health services, police officers are interacting more than ever with people suffering from schizophrenia and other serious disorders of the mind. The consequences can be deadly. (April 10) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Teen Drinking Rates Linked To Alcohol Mentions In Pop Music

Teen Drinking Rates Linked To Alcohol Mentions In Pop Music

Newsy (Apr. 9, 2014) A University of Pittsburgh study found pop music that mentions alcohol is linked to higher drinking rates among teens. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins