Lately, I have found myself wanting to vent and ramble about RA. Please excuse me if I happen to mention what many folks with RA have already ranted and raved about. I am an RA newbie and this is my time. Although I am being proactive and educating myself to this autoimmune disorder and how to live with RA, this " monster" inside me wants to control every facet of my life. I refuse to give it the control it seeks.
I just recently read a report from the Tin Mom blog on Arthritis Today. (This blog is an excellent source of information about RA. Thank you, Annette. Kudos).
This is a report by Jennifer Davis revealing new information on the debilitating effects of arthritis (as a whole) on America's population, as well as, our economy. I was floored, to say the least. What I read also backed up the information I have read recently from a book titled, The Autoimmune Epidemic, by Donna Jackson Nakazawa. ( I could give my own review in a later blog). And, I may do just that; once I complete the book.
This report was astounding. Apparently, 1 in 10 adults in the U.S. (currently), reports limited activity as a result of joint pain. That is roughly, 21 million people. Also, a government report stated the number of American adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis is increasing. A CDC report listed an increased number of doctor-diagnosed, adult (over age 18) arthritis cases from 46 million to 50 million over a four year period.
A study from 2007-2009 revealed 22% of the American population has arthritis. Pardon me, but, WTF!!
That equals an annual cost of 128 billion dollars.
Oh yes! Might I add; arthritis is one of the most prevalent chronic health problems, not to mention, the nation's leading cause of disability amongst Americans over the age of 15.
Arthritis also results in 39 million physician office visits annually, as well as, more than 500,000 hospitalizations each year. This chronic illness affects people of ALL age groups, including 300,000 children. Gees, America, is this really good enough? Thank you for the recent passage of the Arthritis Control and Cure Act on September 30, 2010. A major accomplishment indeed, yet, much work still lies ahead.
The point here is this; arthritis is a chronic, debilitating disease that affects more people than cancer. Yes, I said that. And, may I add, I say that with respect for those whom have survived, are currently fighting, or, whom have lost someone dear from cancer. I have. And, my mother is a breast cancer survivor.
Cancer is tracked and the patients are placed on a registry. Currently, 9 million Americans alone are diagnosed with some form of cancer. No method of tracking rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders exists. This isn't good enough!