Scientists are now saying that doctors should take more account of these subjective differences when assessing the need for medication. This and other findings are being presented at a congress currently in progress on gender medicine arranged by Karolinska Institutet.
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.
“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.”
Sabina Bossi | alfa
Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg
New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences