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Tue 10 Aug 2010 12:04 PM

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Fifth of the Gulf population affected by arthritis

Hot and humid climate is one of the main causes of the rheumatic disease - experts.

Fifth of the Gulf population affected by arthritis
HEALTH CONCERNS: A fifth of the population in the Gulf is affected by some form of rheumatic disease. (ITP Images)

Around a fifth of the population in the Gulf is affected by some form of rheumatic disease and climate is one of the main causes, experts due to attend a conference on the subject in Dubai on October claimed on Monday.

Environmental conditions such as heat and humidity can also have an adverse effect on rheumatoid arthritis, claimed Dr. Humeira Badsha, consultant rheumatologist at Al Biraa Arthritis and Bone Clinic (ABABC), who is due to attend the Emirates Rheumatology Conference in Dubai from October 10 to 12.

"Heat and humidity can also cause the joints to swell more and can worsen the inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis," Dr Badsha told the WAM news agency.

"In addition, being in an air conditioned environment can worsen problems of vitamin D deficiency. When patients stay indoors all day they do not get vitamin D from the sun and this can cause vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency leads to osteoporosis, weak muscles and autoimmune diseases," he added, claiming that around twenty percent of the population in the Gulf is affected by some form of rheumatic disease.

However, Dr Badsha said there are many new treatments available for rheumatoid arthritis and “the aim of the treatment is to completely halt the progression of the disease and to prevent deformities and joint damage."

The Emirates Rheumatology Conference takes place from October 10 to 12 at the Al Murooj Rotana Hotel, Dubai.

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Teymur 9 years ago

Alarming and nearly completely informative article. I would recommend if you could add some helpful tips for the general public to avoid such diseases. One that I can think of is: 1. Get out of the house and bare some hot sun in return for some Vit D. Thank you.

Dorothy 9 years ago

The Gulf climate is no friend to those who suffer from arthritis or any form of autoimmune disease . Shane McGinley's excellent and informitive article attests to this. It is also the belief that autoimmune diseases tend to run in families. Also many who have one autoimmune disease are at risk for contracting another. I have read papers written by Dr Badsha. whom I believe is one of the World's most informed and knowledgable on the subject of autoimmune diseases. There are many new treatments available for rheumatoid arthritis which can put the disease into remission. The following is a quote of the good Dr. Badsha, which should give those of us who suffer daily, hope for a better quality of life. “The aim of the treatment is to completely halt the progression of the disease and to prevent deformities and joint damage,” said Dr Badsha. “Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis hinge on disease modifying drugs which seek to correct the overactive immune system. These include tablets such as Methotrexate and can also include the newer biological agents. There are many biological drugs which have revolutionised the care of rheumatoid arthritis and these include Enbrel, Humira, Remicade, Mabthera, Orencia and even newer ones such as Actemra and Simponi. All of these correct the immune system disorder and can induce disease autoremission, prevent disability and preserve normal joints.” The above is my humble opinion and belief in Dr.Badsha. Thank you