Any symptoms detected early should be noted with a doctor, and treatment can begin immediately.However, due to the lack of access to joint preserving therapies in South Africa, diagnosis and treatment referrals for those suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis can take up to a year, especially for patients in the public sector.
Radiology is the mainstay of diagnostics in bone and joint disorders - X-ray, MRI, CT-scan and Dexa scan while in order to monitor the process of the disease, laboratory tests are used for screening.
Women are at more risk of developing arthritis than men after the age of 40, according to a recent study.
As the world observes World Arthritis Day today, the South African Medical Association (SAMA) joins thousands around the world in acknowledging the disease's impact and effects.World Arthritis Day was established in 1996 by Arthritis and Rheumatism International (ARI), to raise awareness of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases (RMDs) amongst the medical community, people with RMDs, and the public.It is aimed at influencing public policy by making decision-makers aware of the burden of RMDs and the steps which can be taken to ease it. Women are three to four times more frequently affected than men.
· Abnormal Uric Acid levels indicating Gout were seen more commonly in the North zone (23.19%) followed by the East.
· ESR (56.71%, 61-85 age group), CRP (80.13%, 85+ years), RF (12.77%, 61-85 years) and UA (34.76%, 85+ years) levels were higher in people in their forties onwards.
Dr Avinash Phadke, President - Technology and Mentor (Clinical Pathology), SRL Diagnostics, said, "Although the word "arthritis" means joint inflammation, the term is used to describe more than 100 rheumatic diseases and conditions affecting the bones and tissues". Alarmingly, India will emerge as the capital of Osteoarthritis by 2025 with more than 60 million to be likely affected. Ironically, one of the main reasons is the increasing longevity of India's population, another being fast-rising obesity. This lack of early diagnosis and treatment can lead to disability to the degeneration of joints, as they become inflamed, stiff, and swollen.Access to joint replacement for end stage joint disease is also problematic.