Welcome to the latest belated instalment of ’42 things you might not know about arthritis’! Did you know that women are more likely to suffer from arthritis than men? In Canada, an estimated 64% of those diagnosed with arthritis are women. And according to the Public Health Agency of Canada, most types of arthritis are more common in women. What’s even more interesting is that some research is suggesting that the course of rheumatoid arthritis is significantly worse in women than it is in men.
This article in the journal The Rheumatologist describes the state of play in a lot more detail, and ultimately concludes that the differences may not be as profound as some of the literature suggests. But the biggest take away for me is that there do seem to be some differences, and this could have significant implications for treatment options. It is now understood that early treatment of RA is critical. If science is starting to find that some treatments are more likely to be successful for women versus men, that could make a huge difference for everyone who is trying to get their disease under control as early as possible. At worst, I can only jump to the conclusion that this merits more study.