> Rheumatoid arthritis, two years for the diagnosis

it is the fate of many italians struggling with this chronic inflammatory disease and progressive that affects 300 thousand fellow-countrymen: we appeal in the first instance to a specialist rheumatologist and lengthen inevitably the time of diagnosis, estimated as, on average, around 11,7 months.

This is the photograph taken yesterday in Rome by Censis, which has shown the data of the first social Report on rheumatoid arthritis wanted from the Companyà of the Italian rheumatology (Sir) and the national Association of rheumatism sufferers (Anmar). The survey involved 646 patients, 60% of whom received the diagnosis at least 5 years.

the timing of The recognition of the Ar, according to the Report, vary depending on the doctor making the initial diagnosis. The average waiting time between the onset of the first symptoms and the confirmation of the diagnosis by a rheumatologist is, in fact, more than two years, in the case in which the patient has been diagnosed initially by a specialist rheumatologist.

An average much higher compared to the sick that must be suffered by the family doctor, the first point of reference for patients.

If your doctor directs you to in a timely manner the patient to the rheumatologist it takes ‘only’ to 10.8 months. People with Ar are also doubts and uncertainties about the diagnosis.

For the 60% of the respondents symptoms were in fact often confused with diseases such as arthritis and rheumatic pains generic.

A further 12% remember that his problems were interpreted as signs of physiological aging. For 9%, instead, the initial symptoms were simply undervalued.

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On rheumatoid arthritis there is an Italy that is “three-speedà”, he warns, Antonella Celano, president of Anmar. “A political commitment aimed at ensuring equal opportunity; access to care throughout the national territory”.

If in the North West, has recourse mainly to the family doctor (43%), in Central Italy, you prefer to go straight from the rheumatologist public (42%), while in the South the 33% he goes to the rheumatologist private.

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Page published on the 10th October 2008