Arthritis, the New Epidemic in India; Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research Over 300 people attend OPD; lead an awareness march

5 Nov

Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research called for greater awareness and action to fight different forms of Arthritis, including Rheumatoid Arthritis, a growing concern in India. Hospital experts said, Rheumatoid Arthritis has emerged as a common ailment in the country affecting around one million people. If untreated, Arthritis could assume epidemic proportions in the country by 2013. To create greater awareness the hospital organised an awareness walk for adults within the IPGMER after the check-up at the OPD (Out Patient Department) for patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Over 300 patients including their families attended the OPD and the walk. The walk was followed by an interactive seminar addressing issues on different aspects of arthritis, particularly their treatment modalities as well as role of diet and exercise by Dr. Alekandu Ghosh, Professor and Head, Department of Rheumatology, IPGMER, Kolkata in the presence of other leading Rheumatologists of the city.

Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that typically affects the small joints in your hands and feet. This can be both debilitating and disfiguring. Therefore, early diagnosis along with drug treatment is essential to minimize or prevent any permanent damage to the joints. The newer category of ‘targeted therapy’ is done when the standard DMARDS (Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs) fail. These Biologics have contributed to significant improvement in management and outcome of Rheumatoid Arthritis especially when they are affordable.

Dr. Alakendu Ghosh, said, “Early recognition of symptoms is the key. Joint pain that improves with activity with the signature early morning stiffness needs physician’s consultation. Morning joint stiffness that lasts for more than 30 minutes to an hour, swelling in three or more joints, symmetrical joint pains coupled with low grade fever and fatigue, are signs of rheumatoid arthritis. Timely intervention with available DMARDS has changed the Arthritis scene completely as drug free remissions can now be achieved with their help. ”

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