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Outcomes improving for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, study says

Recently, some rather encouraging results were released from a study on rheumatoid arthritis.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Netherlands and its results indicate that, over the past 20 years, the quality-of-life outlook for individuals who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis has improved quite a bit.

The study had over 1,100 subjects. All of the subjects were Dutch and they all had received a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis sometime over the time period spanning from 1990 to 2011. In the study, the researchers tracked whether the participants developed any physical or mental health disabilities in relation to their rheumatoid arthritis in the three-to-five-year period following their diagnosis. The researchers then looked at if there were any changes in the rate of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers developing the above-mentioned disabilities over the time period of the study.

The researchers found that, from 1990 to the study's end, a drop occurred in both the development of physical disabilities and the development of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

What was behind these drops? The researchers said that improvements in treatment methods and medications could be responsible for these declines.

While it is very encouraging to see that there have been marked improvements in the quality-of-life outcomes for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, it is important to note that this is still an incredibly impactful condition. Sometimes, it affects a person's ability to earn a living.

When rheumatoid arthritis causes a person to be unable to work, one option the individual may have is to pursue disability benefits, such as Social Security Disability benefits. Social Security Disability attorneys can help individuals who have questions about such benefits.

Source: The Californian, "Study: Rheumatoid arthritis patients see big boost in quality of life," Alan Mozes, Dec. 11, 2013

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