KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (pix) has urged those who are diagnosed with arthritis not to take the easy way out to relieve pain by seeking treatment and medicines that are not registered with the Ministry of Health (MoH).
“Currently, there are new treatments such as biologic drugs that are proven to cure the illness and give patients the opportunity to live a normal life without physical disabilities,” she said when officiating the World Arthritis Day 2019 here, here today.
Arthritis is a type of inflammation in the joints that causes the patient to feel pain in the joints and lacking flexibility or difficulty to perform everyday tasks.
Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said she was informed that women were more likely to develop the disease such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or simply known as lupus, compared to male population.
“Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common autoimmune disease, affecting one per cent of the world’s population,” she said.
She also drew attention to data produced by the National Inflammatory Arthritis Registry (NIAR) which collected information from all state hospitals under MoH, which found 6,059 patients were suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
“87.4 per cent of rheumatoid arthritis patients are women and the disease usually attacks women aged 21 to 60,” she said.
Therefore, she advised the public to be more aware of the early signs of the disease as it can attack anyone regardless of gender or age.
“It is important to know the early signs of the disease so that treatment can be given immediately before any complications such as disability to occur,” she said.
The World Arthritis Day is celebrated on Oct 12 each year around the world and aimed at raising awareness about joint-related illness.