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Survey: Psoriatic arthritis sufferers often feel frustrated

| Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

Explaining the “invisible” aspects of psoriatic arthritis often presents a challenge, according to “Psoriatic Arthritis In America,” a newly released Health Union survey of patients diagnosed with the condition.

Survey respondents said they often experience difficulty in making others understand that despite a lack of outwardly visible symptoms, they have a chronic condition that can cause fatigue and affects their entire body.

Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory disease closely related to and most often co-occurring with psoriasis. The most commonly reported symptom among respondents was fatigue (94 percent), but other symptoms include pain, swelling and stiffness of the joints, and inflammation and pain of ligaments and tendons at attachment points.

Seventy-three percent of patients said they had experienced flares at least monthly, with flares lasting several weeks. Those experiencing frequent (i.e., daily or weekly) flares described the condition as “painful,” “frustrating” and “debilitating.”

The survey found 68 percent reporting Psoriatic arthritis had an impact on their overall quality of life, with 75 percent of respondents indicating it had negatively affected their ability to exercise or participate in physical activity, while 56 percent reported a negative effect on their ability to work.

“I'm not the person I once was, and I miss her,” wrote one anonymous respondent. “I miss her optimism and laughter. It is truly heartbreaking.”

Survey data also shows many respondents saw several healthcare providers before receiving an official Psoriatic arthritis diagnosis, with one in four seeing two and nearly the same amount (24 percent) requiring three. Seven percent said they needed to visit 10 or more healthcare providers before receiving a diagnosis.

“Psoriatic Arthritis In America” surveyed 1,033 U.S. patients and was conducted May 22 through July 9, 2017.

— Health Union

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