Nav: Home

One third of rheumatoid arthritis patients experience sexual dysfunction

June 10, 2016

London, United Kingdom, June 10, 2016: The results of a study presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2016) showed that sexual dysfunction is present in more than one-third of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who are still sexually active, both men and women. A variety of difficulties may affect RA patients, including lack of libido, painful intercourse, orgasmic dysfunction, premature ejaculation and a non-satisfactory sexual life.

"Sexuality is an important dimension of an individual's personality, and sexual problems can have a seriously detrimental impact on a couple's relationship," said lead author Dr Pedro Santos-Moreno of the Biomab, Centre for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Bogota, Colombia. "It is therefore rather surprising that, up until now, very little quality research on sexual disturbances in RA patients has been published in the literature, bearing in mind how common the problems are," he added.

Many factors may influence the prevalence and worsening of these sexual disturbances; however, the relationship between having a sexual disturbance and RA disease activity was not statistically significant; the problems themselves do not affect activity of the disease. However, there is a relationship between not being sexually active and the presence of disease activity.

This study explored three different type of factors - precipitating, predisposing and maintenance -- that may influence the prevalence and worsening of sexual disturbances in RA patients, as well as their relationship with disease activity.

Precipitating factors for sexual dysfunction in women and men with RA respectively included infidelity (33% and 6%), insecurity in a sexual role (32% and 16%), and biological or physical causes (17% and 3%). The range of predisposing factors in women and men respectively were related to image changes (14% and 21%), infidelity (13% and 7%), anxiety (2% and 2%) and loss of attraction (1.4% and 10%).

Reported factors felt to be responsible for sexual disturbances continuing in women and men respectively (so-called maintenance factors) included biological causes (11% and 15%), infidelity (9% and 4%), general alteration of the couple's relationship (9% and 19%), partner's sexual dysfunction (3% and 0.8%), and depression/anxiety (1.9% and 5%).

The relationship between these various precipitating, predisposing or maintenance factors and disease activity was also not statistically significant.

Patients in this study were all attending a specialised RA clinic, with information collected through semi-structured interviews. From a population of 1,298 RA patients, with an average age of 55 years old, 80% were women, of whom 40% reported no sexual activity. Just under one-third of the men with RA in this study also reported no sexual activity.

Abstract Number: OP0308-HPR
-end-
NOTES TO EDITORS:

For further information on this study, or to request an interview with the study lead, please do not hesitate to contact the EULAR congress

Press Office in the London Suite at ExCel London during EULAR 2016 or on:

Email: eularpressoffice@cohnwolfe.com

Onsite tel: +44 (0) 7725 915 492 / +44 (0) 7786 171 476

Twitter: @EULAR_Press

Youtube: Eular Pressoffice

About EULAR

The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) is an umbrella organisation which represents scientific societies, health professional associations and organisations for people with Rheumatic Musculoskeletal Diseases (RMD) throughout Europe.

EULAR aims to promote, stimulate and support the research, prevention, and treatment of RMD and the rehabilitation of those it affects.

EULAR underlines the importance of combating rheumatic diseases not only by medical means, but also through a wider context of care for rheumatic patients and a thorough understanding of their social and other needs. EULAR is supported in this mission by its 45 scientific member societies, 36 PARE (People with Arthritis/Rheumatism in Europe) organisations, 22 HPR (Health Professionals in Rheumatology) associations and 23 corporate members.

The EULAR Annual European Congress of Rheumatology is the foremost international medical meeting announcing the latest research on rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. EULAR 2016 is expected to attract over 14,000 delegates from around 120 countries. Most if not all professions working in the vast field of RMD will be represented.

To find out more about the activities of EULAR, visit: http://www.eular.org

References

1. EULAR 2016; London: Abstract OP0308-HPR

European League Against Rheumatism

Related Rheumatoid Arthritis Articles:

Rheumatoid arthritis -- can its onset be delayed or prevented?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disorder that leads to significant health issues as well as high treatment costs.
Disease burden in osteoarthritis is similar to rheumatoid arthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) has traditionally been viewed as a highly prevalent but milder condition when compared with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and some may believe that it is part of a normal aging process requiring acceptance, not treatment.
Prospect of a new treatment for rheumatoid arthritis
An international research group led by Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin has completed testing a new drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Can rare lymphocytes combat rheumatoid arthritis?
Immunologists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg have demonstrated that ILC2, a group of rare lymphoid cells, play a key role in the development of inflammatory arthritis.
How environmental pollutants and genetics work together in rheumatoid arthritis
New research documents how chemicals and a certain gene activate an enzyme to increase the risk and severity of RA and bone destruction.
Rheumatoid arthritis meets precision medicine
Scientists are bringing precision medicine to rheumatoid arthritis for the first time by using genetic profiling of joint tissue to see which drugs will work for which patients, reports a new multi-site study.
Causes of death in rheumatoid arthritis patients
Mortality rates were increased for patients with rheumatoid arthritis relative to the general population across all causes of death in a recent Arthritis Care & Research analysis.
Menopause found to worsen symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
A recent study published in Rheumatology suggests that women with rheumatoid arthritis suffer a greater decline in physical function following menopause.
Jawbone loss predates rheumatoid arthritis
Jawbone loss caused by periodontitis predates the onset of rheumatoid arthritis.
Gel to fight rheumatoid arthritis
IBS scientists developed a potentially therapeutic gel, which detects nitric oxide, absorbs excess fluids and delivers drugs.
More Rheumatoid Arthritis News and Rheumatoid Arthritis Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.