Rheumatism

A life with rheumatism

Karen (56 years old) has had arthritis for four years and takes Methotrexate every week to slow down the progression of the disease. She has heard that Methotrexate can be “toxic” and she is so tired of the nausea and tiredness associated with taking this drug. Some days, Karen also needs painkillers and she has doubts about her body being able to tolerate all this medication on the long term. According to her doctor, the treatment, the frequent controls by a specialist and regular blood tests are expected to be life-long.

Most medications exhibit a wide variability in efficacy. A considerable part of this variability is due to inherited variations in genes. The association between the genetic variations and the response and toxicity of anti-inflammatory drugs  (NSAIDs, corticosteroids and anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) e.g., Methotrexate and Azathioprine) has not yet been clearly established.

Do not change or stop taking any medication without consulting your doctor.

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Rheumatism

Rheumatism: 700.000 diagnosed in DK
0 %
Rheumatoid arthritis: ca. 50.000 Patients in DK
0%
Inflammatory arthritis: 100.000 patients in DK
0 %

Medical treatment has evolved over the past 70 years with the development of Glucocoticoids, Conventional disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (e.g sulfasalazine, methotrexate) and Biologicals (e.g. Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha). Medical science is advancing intergrating various factors such as pathogenesis, phenotype, disease progression and co-morbid impact to develop and improve precision medicine (Burmester et al. 2017. Managing rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases -past, present and future. Nature Reviews Rheumatology, 13(7), pp. 443-448).

There are more than 200 various diagnoses within rheumatism. Some patients may experience symptoms, while others may not. Data in the figure are given in percentage in relation to the total Danish population 5.66 mill. (2015 data). The figure shows a few data examples within rheumatism: Around 700.000 are diagnosed with Rheumatism in DK. Around 50.000 patients are diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis. Around 100.000 are diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis. Read more about key numbers at Gigtforeningen www.gigtforeningen.dk (Nøgletal for gigtsygdomme 3. udgave, januar 2018.)

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We are all different

The practice of medicine has always been about treating each person as an individual patient. For a long time, clinicians have observed that patients with the same diagnosis may respond differently to the same medical treatment.

Advances in technology have made it possible to identify genetic variations determining the effectiveness of commonly prescribed medications.

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