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  • Writer's pictureDr. Chris Phillips

The Impact of Rheumatic Diseases on Men



June is Men’s Health Month - a month dedicated to improving the health of men.


Our team at Paducah Rheumatology is also dedicated to helping men have the best possible quality of life by using our skills and expertise to provide proper disease management.


Yes, more females than males are impacted by rheumatic diseases … but that doesn’t mean males are exempt from developing rheumatic diseases, and those rheumatic diseases can be just as life altering to men as they are to women.


Rheumatic Diseases: Men vs Women


Experts have long studied the health differences between men and women. Our blog - “How Autoimmune Diseases Affect Women vs. Men” - outlines why some autoimmune diseases are more prevalent in women, but look at these results of the following research:


Multiple Sclerosis

The National Library of Medicine reports, “In multiple sclerosis (MS), the female to male ratio is as high as 3:1.


However, while men have a lower risk of developing MS, many natural history and patient cohort studies have suggested that male sex is associated with a poorer clinical outcome in relapse-onset cohorts (RRMS, SPMS).


In this form of MS, representing up to 85% of all MS cases, male patients are reported to have a more rapid accumulation of disability, reach disability milestones more rapidly than their female counterparts, display a more malignant form of disease and have a poorer recovery after the initial disease relapse than females.”


Gout

The Mayo Clinic says, “Gout occurs more often in men, primarily because women tend to have lower uric acid levels. After menopause, however, women's uric acid levels approach those of men.


Men are also more likely to develop gout earlier — usually between the ages of 30 and 50 — whereas women generally develop signs and symptoms after menopause.”


Sjögren's Syndrome

The Sjögren's Foundation explains, “Sjögren's is a chronic autoimmune disease that is likely more prevalent in men than currently appreciated. At present, one out of every ten diagnosed patients is male, but that number is expected to grow as awareness is raised.”


Lupus

The Lupus Foundation of America says, “A lot of misinformation exists about lupus, and men with the disease may discover that people are often surprised to learn that they have it because of the incorrect belief that lupus only occurs in women.


Research suggests 1 in 10 of those with lupus are male. Men develop the same typical clinical manifestations of lupus as women, yet certain key symptoms may be more pronounced in men than in women. For example, when men with lupus have kidney involvement it tends to be more severe …


Treatment for lupus in men is nearly identical to treatment in women. However, certain medications used to treat lupus, such as cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®), can affect sperm counts.”


Addison’s Disease

The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) states, “Addison’s disease affects males and females in equal numbers. Approximately 1 in 100,000 people in the United States have Addison’s disease. The overall prevalence is estimated to be between 40 and 60 people per million of the general population.


Because cases of Addison’s disease may go undiagnosed, it is difficult to determine its true frequency in the general population. Addison’s disease can potentially affect individuals of any age, but usually occurs in individuals between 30-50 years of age.”


Cardiovascular Disease

The National Library of Medicine explains, “Men tend to have more cardiovascular diseases; women, more inflammatory-related diseases …


We found that men were generally more likely to have the lethal conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Women were more likely to have debilitating, but seldom fatal, conditions, including arthritis and depression.”


Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

Medical News Today reports, “Men and women develop PsA at similar rates. However, the condition tends to affect them in different ways.


Women with PsA are more likely to develop arthritis symptoms in multiple joints in their arms, hands, legs, and feet. Men are more likely to develop pain, swelling, and stiffness in their back.”


The Healthcare of Men


Healthcare for men is important. Males need medical attention, too.


Statistics have long-proven that women are more likely than men to visit the doctor. Let’s change that!


Rheumatic diseases impact men as well as women … and our team at Paducah Rheumatology is ready to help anyone with a rheumatic disease.


We are accepting new patients and would love to see you. Whether you are already diagnosed or suspect you have a rheumatic disease, send our office your physician’s referral and then call us at 270-408-6100 to schedule an appointment.


We look forward to working with you!


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