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New consumer resource written by Perth medical experts will empower the half million Australians living with rheumatoid arthritis

Arthritis and Osteoporosis WA has published a uniquely Australian book written by Perth medical experts and health professionals for Australians living with rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system attacks its own healthy tissue, targeting the lining of the joints, which causes pain, inflammation and joint damage.

A debilitating chronic health condition, RA severely affects the daily life of 500,000 Australians and has no known cure.

"The onset of RA can start in one's twenties and be ongoing for the rest of their life. The juvenile form starts at an even younger age," said Dr Joe Kosterich, a Perth-based General Practitioner.

"Despite this prevalence and the impact it has on those living with the condition, until now, there has not been an up-to-date publication that provides factual information about rheumatoid arthritis," said Dr Kosterich.

With numerous recent advances in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, the book previously used was outdated, so the solution was for Arthritis & Osteoporosis WA to write a suitable reference guide to accompany their evidence-based RA education program.

Each chapter is written by local Perth medical and health professionals who have expert knowledge on the condition; including a personal perspective from a Perth local living with rheumatoid arthritis.

'A Practical Guide to Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis' provides practical and up-to-date information, including:

  • Coping with fatigue and flares
  • Latest treatments available (surgical and medical)
  • Medications
  • Self-management techniques
  • Complementary therapies

"It is increasingly being recognised that the most underused person in the healthcare team is the patient.

"The more knowledgeable and therefore more empowered the individual, the better they tend to do. This book provides them with knowledge and power." said Dr Kosterich. 

Musculoskeletal conditions (of which rheumatoid arthritis is a common form) are the most common and disabling chronic conditions in Australia.
They are the third most costly group of chronic conditions in terms of health spending, costing well over $6 billion per year, or about 8% of disease expenditure.
Winthrop Professor Johannes Nossent, Chair of Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Medicine at UWA said there was a remarkable and regrettable lack of services for patients with musculoskeletal conditions.
"It is a continuing source of concern as these conditions severely affect the quality of life and often lead to long term complications, including a shorter lifespan." said Prof Nossent.
Copies of 'A Practical Guide to Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis' can be purchased from Arthritis & Osteoporosis WA by calling (08) 9388 2199 or Toll Free 1800 011 041 or online here 
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