One-third of patients with rheumatoid arthritis feel their condition has a "considerably" negative influence on their sex lives, new research finds.
"Today's findings indicate the need for increased attention on the effect of rheumatoid arthritis on sexual activity as well as reveal that sexual problems should be addressed as part of the general health care given to RA patients," said Ylva Helland, department of rheumatology at Diakonhjemmet Hospital in Oslo, Norway.
The findings were presented Saturday at the 2006 European League Against Rheumatism Congress, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The study found that 31 percent of RA patients reported that the disease had no impact on sexual activity, with another 38 percent saying it had "little" impact. But, 21 percent said their condition had considerable impact on their sex lives, and 10 percent said RA made sexual activity either almost or totally impossible.
Males hit harder
Compared to the female patients, men were more likely to report a significant impact on their sexual activity.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease characterised by inflammation of the lining of the joints. It can produce long-term joint damage, resulting in chronic pain, loss of function and disability, according to the US Arthritis Foundation. – (HealthDayNews)
Joint pain/Arthritis Centre