Treating RA Early May Cut Damaging Effects

Study suggests that delaying treatment leads to more joint inflammation, disability down the road

WebMD—October 26, 2013

Immediate and effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis reduces the risk that patients will have joint damage and disability within a few years, according to a study from Hospital for Special Surgery. The findings show the need for doctors to discourage patients from delaying treatment, according to research presented at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting.

"We need to educate people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis about this. Some want to delay treatment because they are afraid. They haven't wrapped their heads around the fact that they have this disease, or they are reluctant to start taking medication. Some resort to non-medicinal approaches, many of which have limited effect," said study lead investigator and HSS rheumatologist Dr. Vivian Bykerk.

Read the full story at webmd.com.

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