MAIDENHEAD, England, September 22 /PRNewswire/ --
- 26 Men and Women With RA From Across Europe Honoured as They Share Their Inspirational Stories
Actress, artist and activist Jane Seymour will host the first My Day for RA European event in Barcelona, Spain this evening to recognise the daily challenges, hopes and achievements of people living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
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RA is a chronic and progressive disease that can cause pain, deformity, disability and loss of independence without effective managementÂ.(1) The My Day for RA event brings together people with RA from all over Europe to share their stories of hope and triumph, and to motivate others with the disease to live life to the fullest.
"I am very proud to be involved in My Day For RA, and am personally inspired by those being honoured today," Jane Seymour says. "Not only does this event recognise and celebrate the achievements of people living with RA, but it encourages everyone with the condition to learn more about their disease and to take an active role in managing their illness."
The My Day for RA event coincides with the recent launch of an online resource - the My Day for RA Action Planner - to help people with RA to understand the impact of their disease, and to develop a straightforward, personalised action plan for the future. The Action Planner is available at http://www.MyDayforRA.com.
RA affects 2.9 million people across Europe.(1) Most people with RA experience pain and fatigue which can impact every aspect of their lives.(2,3) Daily activities that are often taken for granted, such as getting up in the morning, going to work or caring for one's family can become arduous tasks.
Being a progressive disease means that RA can get worse over time, and eventually lead to permanent and irreversible damage to the joints, which could result in deformity and loss of independence over time, as well as a decreased ability to work, potential surgery and higher medical costs.(2,4,5,6) Studies have shown that early and aggressive treatment of RA may successfully stop disease progression, and enable people with RA to continue living a productive lifestyle.(4,7,8,9)
"Many people with RA expend so much effort on day-to-day living, dealing with the pain and fatigue, that they rarely have time to think about the long-term implications of living with RA," says Dr. Alejandro OlivÃ© MarquÃ©s, Rheumatologist, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Barcelona, Spain and speaker at the My Day for RA event.
"Fortunately, there have been significant medical advances in the last few years for people with RA. With the right treatment and support, you may not only be able to control your symptoms, but actually stop the disease from getting worse, allowing patients to continue living active lives and protecting their future."
My Day for RA was created by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. For further information please visit http://www.MyDayforRA.com.
Notes to editors:
About the My Day for RA Programme
My Day for RA is a European disease awareness programme, launched in June 2009, that encourages men and women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to dedicate a day to learn more about their condition and to set goals in order to feel more confident and empowered to manage their RA now and in the future. Men and women with RA are encouraged to take a day by visiting http://www.MyDayforRA.com for a downloadable checklist of steps they can take now that may benefit them in the future.
Additionally, people can access the My Day for RA Action Planner, an interactive questionnaire, created to help people with RA to develop a straightforward, personalised, action plan for the future. After using the Action Planner, people are encouraged to follow their personalised plans to achieve the goals they have set for themselves. The Action Planner cannot and should not substitute medical advice: people are encouraged to speak to their doctor for valuable guidance on how to best manage their RA to meet the goals they have set.
About Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic condition that typically affects the hands, wrists and feet, and may also affect the knees, hips and shoulders. If the condition persists over time, it can cause permanent damage, including tendon, ligament, cartilage and bone destruction and deformity.(2,3)
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth, has leading products in the areas of women's health care, infectious disease, gastrointestinal health, central nervous system, inflammation, transplantation, hemophilia, oncology, vaccines and nutritional products.
Wyeth is one of the world's largest research-driven pharmaceutical and health care products companies. It is a leader in the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, biotechnology products, nutritionals and non-prescription medicines that improve the quality of life for people worldwide. The Company's major divisions include Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare and Fort Dodge Animal Health.
(1). "Prevalence and Impact of Rheumatoid Arthritis." Amgen Rheumatology Inflammation Service Europe (RISE). Available at http://www.kineret-eu.com/en/pro/rhe/rhepre.jsp. Last Accessed May 2009
(2). "What is RA?" National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) Website. Available at http://www.rheumatoid.org.uk/article.php?article_id=224. Last Accessed May 2009
(3). Lee DM. et al. Rheumatoid arthritis. Lancet. 2001;358:903-911
(4). Weaver AL. et al. The Impact of new biologicals in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology. 2004;43(Suppl.3):iii17 iii23
(5). Sokka T. et al. Work disability in early rheumatoid arthritis. Clin Exp Rheum. 2003;21 (Suppl.31) S71-S74
(6). Burton W. et al. Systematic review of studies of productivity loss due to rheumatoid arthritis. Occup Med. 2006:56:18-27
(7). Emery, P. et al Comparison of methotrexate monotherapy with a combination of methotrexate and etanercept in active, early, moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (COMET): a randomised, double-blind, parallel treatment trial The Lancet. 2008; 372: 375-382
(8). Breedveld FC. et al. The PREMIER study: A multicenter, randomized, double-blind clinical trial of combination therapy with adalimumab plus methotrexate versus methotrexate alone or adalimumab alone in patients with early, aggressive rheumatoid arthritis who had not had previous methotrexate treatment. Arthritis Rheum. 2006;54:26-37
(9). Korpela M. et al. Retardation of joint damage in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis by initial aggressive treatment with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. Five year experience from the FIN-RACo study. Arthritis Rheum 2004; 50:2072-2081
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