Exploring women’s arthritis issues and needs

Exercise to protect against rheumatoid arthritis

Heart Shaped Bike RackResearchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm say that exercise and physical activity may protect against the development of rheumatoid arthritis in women. The researchers studied 30,112 women enrolled in the Swedish Mammography Cohort who responded to a questionnaire in 1997 regarding physical activity. Participants were asked questions that assess daily energy use at home and wok and during leisure time. Researchers calculated the metabolic equivalent score based on duration, intensity and inactivity.

According to the research findings, 201 out of 30,112 women developed rheumatoid arthritis (RA) during the average follow-up time of 7.5 years, totalling 226, 477 person-years. Other findings include:

  • The women who developed RA expended less energy per week;
  • Women who spent more hours performing home or household chore had a 35% decreased risk of developing RA;
  • Women who spent 2 hours or more per week exercising had a 20% decreased; and,
  • Women who were inactive during their leisure time had a 27% increased risk for developing RA.

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AS it Goes – Bridging the Patient-Doctor Divide

The doctor is listeningA checkup appointment at my rheumatologist (doctor who specializes in arthritis) always leads to some interesting discussions. Most of the time I try to “research” a topic beforehand, so that I am armed with the latest background information on whatever are my most pressing concerns at the time. When I launch into my questions (I always have a list written out), I have a better-than-even chance of holding a meaningful conversation with my rheumy. In turn, I get more out of the conversation instead of returning home with questions that even Google cannot answer. Understanding what he is really saying provides me with the sense that I am in control of my ankylosing spondylitis (AS), and not the other way around (AS controlling me?) Continue reading

CRA Interview Series 2015 – Dr. Diane Lacaille: Rheumatologist care in rheumatoid arthritis

Arthritis Broadcast Network’s “CRA Interview Series 2015″ – Dr. Diane Lacaille:  Rheumatologist care in rheumatoid arthritis

Today’s feature interview – Dr. Diane Lacaille

ABN reporters from Canada’s arthritis consumer organizations interviewed leading health professionals and researchers during last month’s CRA and AHPA annual meetings.

Beginning, March 9, feature interviews will be posted on the ABN YouTube channel http://bit.ly/ABNYouTube. Please help us raise awareness about the important work going on in Canada by sharing the interviews with your organizational and social networks.

Note answers in this interview are provided in French only. A translation will be provided in the next few weeks.

About Dr. Diane Lacaille

 

Picture of DianeSenior Research Scientist, Rheumatology
Mary Pack Chair in Rheumatology

MD, MHSc, FRCPC

Appointments
Professor, Division of Rheumatology
Department of Medicine
University of British Columbia

Diane Lacaille is a Professor in the Division of Rheumatology at the University of British Columbia, and a Senior Research Scientist at Arthritis Research Canada, in Vancouver. She practices rheumatology at the Mary Pack Arthritis Centre and she has a hospital appointment at Vancouver Hospital Health Sciences Centre (VHHSC). She completed medical school and internal medicine training at McGill University in Montreal, and her Rheumatology training and a Master’s in Health Sciences, clinical epidemiology track, at the University of British Columbia.

Her research focuses on two areas: 1) Studying the impact of arthritis on employment and preventing work disability, and 2) Evaluating the quality of health care services received by people with RA, using a population-based cohort of RA for the province of BC.

About rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease with hallmark symptoms of inflammation and resulting pain. It is a disease process (like cancer or diabetes) where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own healthy joints. It is a relatively common disease-approximately 300,000 or 1 in 100 Canadians get it-and is often devastating to a person’s body if not treated properly. The disease process causes swelling and pain in and around joints and can affect the body’s organs, including the eyes, lungs, and heart. Rheumatoid arthritis most commonly affects the hands and feet. Other joints often affected include the elbows, shoulders, neck, jaw, ankles, knees, and hips. When moderate to severe, the disease reduces a person’s life span by as much as a dozen years.

Relationship between arthritis and depression

Woman in bedWith a record 122,150,772 million tweets, texts, calls and shares on Bell Let’s Talk Day, yesterday was a big milestone for Canada’s mental health initiatives – a total of $6,107,538.60 was raised. Arthritis Broadcast Network proudly joined the conversation to create awareness for how mental illness can affect those living with Fibromyalgia. Today, we highlight the relationship between arthritis and depression, specifically in rheumatoid arthritis. Continue reading

JointHealth™ monthly – January 2015: New Year, New You!

JHM January Title PageJointHealth™ monthly – January 2015

New Year, New You!

In our first JointHealth™ monthly of 2015, we are focusing on initiatives that help Canadian women better manage their health and improve their quality of life. We also look at activities as part of the third year of Arthritis Consumer Experts and Arthritis Research Canada’s partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix. A partnership that has focused on women: mind, body, spirit.

Some of the stories in this month’s newsletter include:

  • How pharmacists at Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix locations can help with managing your arthritis.
  • Resolutions for women living with arthritis.
  • How weather plays a role in your arthritis.
  • How to stay active in 2015.

Arthritis Consumer Experts
jointhealth.org

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Say goodbye to your high heels…

Woman feet with heelsOr maybe tuck them away in your closet once in a while. Last year, at Arthritis Research Canada’s Reaching Out with Arthritis Research (ROAR) event, there was a section commenting on “changing shoes”, arthritis and self-identity. One lady in that research said:

“I started wearing flat shoes. So flat shoes meant pants and never wearing dresses and I was dressing differently and my life became different and after a couple of years, it just, you know, it [RA] wasn’t getting any better…I came to realization that this was it, I was giving up skiing, tennis, that part of my life’s gone.”

This is a demonstration of a causal relationship between arthritis and wearing high heels – I have arthritis; therefore, I am unable to wear high heels when my joints are inflamed or in pain. For those with a wandering mind, you may ask yourself: Can I get arthritis from wearing high heels? If yes, what can I do to add glamour to an outfit and boost my confidence without wearing high heels? 

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