Millennium Post

Delhi hospitals grappling with large number of rheumatoid arthritis patients

New Delhi: Toxic air in the city led to multiple numbers of cases which are effectively taking Delhites in their grip. Specialist at AIIMS said that there is a strong indication that pollution sparks a rise in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis that has witnessed a 20 per cent surge in OPD cases at the institute with winter approaching.
"As Diwali celebration is round the corner and expected to have air pollution, shockingly, this will effect the patients suffering from respiratory disorder, but it will also contributes to the autoimmune diseases," said Dr Uma Kumar, professor and head of the rheumatology department at AIIMS. She also said residents dwelling near to roads are more prone to rheumatic arthritis.
On the World Arthritis Day, with a motto 'It's in your hand, take action,' rheumatologist at AIIMS are launched an awareness programme about rheumatic and musculaskeletal diseases (RMDs) and let the patients aware about the early diagnosis and later can enjoy good quality of life with ( RMDs).
The speakers said it has been observed that prevalence of rheumatolgical illness is increasing in the society particularly metro cities because of increased life expectancy, life style changes and environmental factors like unhygienic living conditions and pollution, other socioeconomic factors.
Delay in initiation of treatment result in joint deformity and irreversible organ damage, also, state of ongoing inflammation in the body leads to premature atheroscerois, hypertension, coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular accidents and reduced the lifespan by 10 years of expected life expectancy, said Dr Uma Kumar.
Dr Kumar also added that RA patients have six fold increased risk for having a silent MI and 2.5 times higher risk for developing heart failure than non-RA individuals.
Rheumatology is a neglected subject in the health care domain and continues to be poorly recognized specialty in India. "There are approximately four dedicated full time specialists serving a billion plus people. Millions of sufferers of RA patients seeks relief from care providers in the country and never go beyond a family physician.
According to the statement, "30, 000 patients were examined in year 2016-17, moreover, nearly four months waiting period for new patients,"
"There are estimated requirement of rheumatologist for India is about 10, 000. There is dire need of professional and teachers in the specialty. Even a modest augmentation of the present strength will make a sizeable dent on the prevailing situation," the statement added.
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