Half of Marylanders over 65 have doctor-diagnosed arthritis
Baltimore, MD (November 14, 2012) – The Maryland Advisory Council on Arthritis and Related Diseases, together with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), will sponsor a free ‘Arthritis Lunch and Learn’ on Friday, November 16, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Bain Center in Columbia for those who register with the Bain Center.
This free arthritis workshop will feature presentations on six arthritis-related topics:
· Is it Lupus? Getting a Diagnosis
· Managing Lupus: Approaches to Treatment
· Common Medication Errors in Treating Arthritis
· Gout: What You Should Know
· Osteoarthritis: Separating Fact from Myth
· The Facts About Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatologists Dr. Allan Gelber of Johns Hopkins University and Dr. Violeta Rus of the University of Maryland, together with consultant pharmacist Dr. Renee Hilliard, will speak at the event, which will include free lunch for participants and a question and answer period after each discussion topic.
Half of Maryland residents over the age of 65 are affected by arthritis, a disease that includes more than 100 conditions that cause pain, inflammation and stiffness in the joints, according to the 2011 Maryland Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Arthritis-related conditions include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and rheumatic conditions such as lupus erythematosus, gout, bursitis, and carpal tunnel disease.
Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in Maryland and resulted in nearly $2.4 billion in medical expenses and lost earnings in 2003, according to the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
These costs have increased substantially in Maryland and across the nation since 1997, due in part to the aging of the population explosion known as the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation. Increasing rates of obesity and physical inactivity, both known risk factors for the disease, have also contributed to the rise in costs. Additionally, 39 percent of Maryland seniors diagnosed with arthritis report joint symptoms severe enough to limit their activities, according to the 2011 Maryland Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
“Arthritis can be a debilitating condition,” said Dr. Allan Gelber, chair of the Maryland Advisory Council on Arthritis and Related Diseases. “But proper diagnosis and treatment can have an enormous impact on the quality of life. Our goal is to empower those with arthritis to take an active role in managing their condition.”
The Maryland State Advisory Council on Arthritis and Related Diseases was established in 1989 under the direction of DHMH to promote, support, enrich and improve the quality of life of individuals with arthritis and related diseases.
To register for the Arthritis Lunch and Learn or to get more information, call the Bain Center at 410-313-7213.