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 Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>