14:15 PM

How Menopause Affects Rheumatoid Arthritis: What Women Might Not Know

CreakyJoints highlights the findings of an observational study evaluating the functional status of women with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), which indicated menopause had a significant impact on the level and rate of functional decline associated with worsening progression of RA symptoms.

CreakyJoints spoke with Michael D. Lockshin, MD, rheumatologist at HSS, who explains, "One of the puzzles about RA and other autoimmune diseases is that are differences between pre- and postmenopausal patients. What is not clear is if these differences are due to estrogen, to other non-estrogen factors of menopause, or to other phenomena of aging."

CreakyJoints advises women with RA to stick with their treatment plan and work closely with a doctor to help keep the disease under control. Dr. Lockshin adds, "Treating RA aggressively — minimizing all signs of inflammation — is the best option. The more aggressively you treat RA, the less cardiovascular disease occurs." Dr. Lockshin concludes, "Current recommendations are to consider hormone therapy only to relieve severe menopausal symptoms; not secondary effects, such as RA control."

Read the full article at CreakyJoints.org.