The Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation has taken a leadership role in women's healthcare and in ensuring optimal care for people living with arthritis- the majority of whom are women.
Although arthritis can affect anyone, regardless of race gender or age, the statistics are clear - over 60% of the nearly 50 million people who have arthritis are female. Women with arthritis, compared to men, account for a greater percentage of visits to physician's offices, hospitalizations, and disability claims.
Osteoarthritis (OA), which is the most common form of arthritis, affects nearly 27 million Americans; 16 million of whom are women. OA usually develops after age 45; after age 55, women are far more commonly affected by OA than men
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) usually strikes women between the ages of 30 and 60. RA is a systemic disease that, because of an abnormality in the body's immune system, leads to inflammation in the lining of the joints and other internal organs. Over 1.3 million American adults have RA, and 70% of those people are women.
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterized by generalized muscular pain and fatigue, loss of sleep, stiffness and sometimes depression and/or anxiety. An estimated 10 million Americans have fibromyalgia with the typical patient being a woman between the ages of 20 and 50 years. Women represent nearly 90% of fibromyalgia patients.
Lupus is an inflammatory disease that may affect the joints, skin, kidneys and other parts of the body. It usually affects women of childbearing age. Almost 322,000 Americans- 90% of whom are women- have this arthritis-related condition.
Finding ways to cope with arthritis is particularly important for women, who are often juggling work, family, care taking and a variety of social responsibilities. With all of these challenges, it is important for women with arthritis to be sure to take the time to care for themselves and stay positive.
The Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter is aware of these very real issues and offers a variety of educational programs, patient services, and financial assistance programs that help improve the outlook and lives of women with arthritis.
Women represent over 80% of participants in our disease management programs, callers to the Chapter's Arthritis Exchange helpline, attendees at our symposia, and recipients of financial assistance through our Direct Patient Assistance Program.
The need for additional funding to increase our outreach to women is great and growing. We need to stay ahead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's projection that doctor-diagnosed arthritis incidence will increase from the current 50 million to nearly 67 million by the year 2030.
The Arthritis Foundation leads the way in helping people with arthritis live better today and create better tomorrows through new treatments, better access to healthcare and, ultimately, cures.
Funding life changing research that has restored mobility in patients for more than six decades. Click here to learn more about the specific research initiatives currently being supported by the Arthritis Foundation.
Fighting for health care policies that improve the lives of the millions of Americans with arthritis. Join the fight for improved health care and become an e-advocate for the Arthritis Foundation.
Partnering with families to provide empowering programs and information. Find a program or information session that interests you.