Friday, October 9, 2009

Arthritis hits more young

PAIN is what a 25-year-old arthritis sufferer has been living with for nine years. The university student, who wants to be known as Bai, was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis - a form of arthritis - when he was 16.

More young Singaporeans like him are being diagnosed with arthritis, a chronic condition that causes painful inflammation of the joints.

In 2007, 4.9 per cent of people here aged 18 to 29 had arthritis, a survey by the Health Ministry showed. In 2001, just 0.3 per cent of people aged 18 to 24 had arthritis.

While the cause of arthritis remains unknown, two Singapore doctors have attributed the rising number of young sufferers to increased awareness, as well as the growing obesity rate (being overweight increases stress on joints).

They revealed this at a press conference on Thursday, during which the findings of a study on arthritis were announced.

The study of 508 Dutch patients found that early treatment with methotrexate, an anti-rheumatic drug, and infliximab, a genetically engineered drug derived from human genes, helped reduce disease activity and joint damage. -- MY PAPER

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