UCB is passionate about transforming the lives of people living with severe diseases and uncovering the intersections of scientific understanding and patient needs. This May, we are honoring Arthritis Awareness Month and Spondyloarthritis Awareness Month by exploring the impacts of different kinds of arthritis on patients. Learn more about psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis, their prevalence, and how individuals living with these diseases are impacted.
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes swelling, pain in the joints, swollen fingers and toes, splitting fingernails and toenails that often peel away from the nail bed, eye pain and redness, and pain in the back of the heel.
In general, PsA affects those who already have psoriasis, which is a skin condition that causes scaly skin lesions. Though patients are typically diagnosed with psoriasis first, it is not uncommon for joint problems to proceed the skin lesions.
PsA can make everyday tasks that normally wouldn’t be hard very challenging. For example, someone living with PsA may have trouble showering, getting dressed, doing chores, and running errands. PsA flares can last for years or go into remission for extended periods of time. Persistent inflammation can lead to progressive joint damage, pain, disability, and further restrictions to carrying out everyday tasks.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a progressive disease which causes chronic inflammation of the joints. It generally affects the smaller joints in the body such as fingers, thumbs, wrists, feet and ankles. Due to its systemic nature, RA can affect an individual’s whole body. RA is classified as an autoimmune disease as it causes the immune system to attack its own body’s tissues, specifically the tissue surrounding the joints.
It is estimated about 1.5 million people in the U.S. have RA. Although RA can occur at any age, the disease most commonly begins between the ages of 40 and 60. Women are three times more likely to be affected than men.
Non-Radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis
Non-Radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) is a subgroup of axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA), a spectrum of inflammatory diseases which includes nr-axSpA and ankylosing spondylitis. In nr-axSpA, inflammation in the joints that connect the pelvis and spine, known as sacroiliac joints, does not show up on x-ray.
Patients face a significant disease burden and often experience substantial inflammatory back pain, prolonged and severe stiffness, fatigue, sleep disturbances, reduced physical function, decreased quality of life, impaired work and home productivity and social participation. Nr-axSpA requires early diagnosis, yet for many patients, the journey to diagnosis can take nearly 10 years from symptom onset. It is estimated as many as 3.3 million adults in the U.S. have axSpA. Within the axSpA spectrum of disease, the prevalence is split roughly equally between nr-axSpA and Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). Read more about how Chelsea finds the inspiration to thrive with nr-axSpA.
Every day, UCB continues our mission to bring more impactful solutions for patients who are living with arthritis, and we are determined to continue to enable patients to live their best lives through our innovation now and in the future.