Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gender differences in experience of rheumatism

15.09.2008
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. 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
Further information:
http://ki.se

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>