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EULAR update: Talking ’bout a therapy evolution (spondyloarthritis)

EULAR BannerFrom this year’s EULAR annual conference comes major news for people living with spondyloarthritis (SpA). Based on recommendations from a task force of European and North American patients, rheumatologists, dermatologists, and health professionals, new treat-to-target (T2T) guidelines for SpA were announced that emphasize the importance to set a target in shared decision making between a specialist and patient and carefully monitor the disease in order to improve a patient’s health outcome.

“The T2T recommendations are following the principle that you have to define a target you want to reach and adapt management to reach this target. This is independent of the treatment you use to reach the target,” said Professor Desiree van der Hejde, a professor at Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands. Continue reading

Winners of World Autoimmune Arthritis Day 2017 Race for Awareness

World Autoimmune Arthritis Day WAAD17 trophyArthritis Consumer Experts participated in the International Foundation for Autoimmune Arthritis’ May 20 World Autoimmune/Autoinflammatory Arthritis Day “virtual” race. The event saw dozens of nonprofits, advocates, and experts from around the world come together to provide educational and awareness information to patients, their supporters, and the general public.

The event reached 1,000’s of patients and supporters in 62 countries around the world, but the awareness doesn’t stop with the end of this event.

The US Arthritis Foundation states that with autoimmune and inflammatory types of arthritis, early diagnosis and aggressive treatment is critical. In addition, slowing disease activity can help minimize or even prevent permanent joint damage.  The American College of Rheumatology & EULAR – European League Against Rheumatism work hard to keep treatment guidelines up to date in the United States. In Canada, Health Canada and the Canadian Rheumatology Association work together to ensure Canadians living with arthritis get the healthcare they need. All progression of these diseases is permanent and irreversible – so early intervention is necessary, not only to avoid unnecessary damage and disability, but to avoid overburdening an already exhausted healthcare system (regardless of country) that long term disability healthcare costs would add to the problems.

Arthritis Consumer Experts is honoured to be crowned one of #WAAD17’s Nonprofit Race Team winner and be ranked beside other patient organizations. Here is a list of this year’s winners: Continue reading

The ARThritis Soirée will be at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver on Thursday, May 18

Arthritis Soiree BannerHosted by Arthritis Research Canada, the ARThritis Soirée is an evening designed to attract the city’s business and community leaders, philanthropists, doctors, scientists, healthcare professionals, and those who have an appreciation of art and a desire to support arthritis research.

Research has shown art adds to one’s well-being and therefore is a great element in managing chronic diseases on a holistic level. Moreover, art adds an extra factor of excitement and depth to the Soirée each year with the introduction of a different art form.

This year’s event will take place on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. The evening’s entertainment will feature world-renowned violinist Jenny Bae.

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Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are now living longer

Image of an angel statute to represent lower mortality rate in rheumatoid arthritis patientsA study published by researchers at the University of British Columbia suggests that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients are no longer facing a higher risk of death than the general population. The study analyzed mortality data and looked at death rates among RA patients versus deaths among a control group of the general population.

The study included an estimated 25,000 people. Patients were divided into two groups – the first one was those with RA cases diagnosed between the years 1996 and 2000 and the second group was those with RA cases diagnosed from 2001 to 2006. Researchers looked at and tracked doctor visit records and other patient information through the year 2010.

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An important arthritis read before you vote

The BC provincial election is on May 9, 2017 – Vote for arthritis!

BC Election - Vote forArthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) asked British Columbia’s political parties, leaders and candidates to share their views on how to improve arthritis prevention, treatment and care.

Arthritis affects 1 in 5 British Columbia residents and is the leading cause of disability in the province. The economic burden of arthritis is expected to double within a generation and strain the BC health system’s ability to provide quality care to BC patients with arthritis.

ACE sent an open letter and survey to all candidates and political parties running in the upcoming May 9th British Columbia provincial election. ACE has received party responses from the BC Liberal Party, BC NDP, BC Green Party, BC Citizens First Party and the BC New Republican Party to questions regarding models of care, osteoarthritis education, aboriginal arthritis care, reimbursement for inflammatory arthritis medications and flexible work arrangements. To view a political party’s response, click on the links below.

To view all candidate and party responses, please visit ACE’s BC Election 2017 page and please vote on May 9th. We encourage you to:

  • Circulate this survey and candidate responses to friends, family, healthcare professionals, and your local media.
  • Reach out to your candidates; here are tips on how to communicate with your electoral candidates, please visit our “Taking Action” page and click on “What You Can Do“.

Cassie and Friends needs your voice for the upcoming BC 2017 Election

Calling on the BC Government to save and change the lives of children living with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Cassie and Friends BC Election ImageJuvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) affects 24,000 infants to teens in BC and Canada, or 3 in every 1,000, making it one of the most common causes of chronic disability in children. Ten to 20 percent of children living with JIA have systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA), a severe and potentially life-threatening form of the disease. Both JIA and sJIA can be devastating and come with high financial, family and societal burdens.

In partnership with Arthritis Consumer Experts, Cassie and Friends Society is leading a call for the BC Government to drastically improve the outlook of children with sJIA by allowing reimbursement coverage for canakinumab for children who need it. For children who do not respond to other treatments, canakinumab can prevent progression of the disease and disease symptoms.

Cassie and Friends is urging all parties running for public office in British Columbia to make juvenile arthritis and canakinumab reimbursement access a health priority during the upcoming provincial election on May 9. You can help by sharing your story or sending an email or letter to your candidate. Together, we can help improve the lives of children living with arthritis!

What can you do? Continue reading