In conjunction with the opening of the 68th World Health Assembly, the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations, IFPA, launches an issue brief on psoriatic arthritis, calling the international community to action.
“The 67th World Health Assembly adopted a resolution on psoriasis, in which it was recognised that a large portion of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, which can lead to permanent disfigurement and disability. For the global psoriasis community it is important to raise awareness of the added burden of psoriatic arthritis, that so many of us struggle with”, says Lars Ettarp, President of IFPA.
Despite being the second most common inflammatory joint disease, causing stiffness, swelling and pain in and, in many cases, disability, many are still unaware of the burden psoriatic arthritis puts on both the individual and society. Many who suffer from psoriatic arthritis are unable to work due to this disabling condition and require frequent and expensive treatments.
Dr Philip Helliwell, of the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine at the University of Leeds, comments: “Almost a third of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis yet half of these people will have a considerable delay in diagnosis and treatment. This will lead to irreversible joint damage. Since effective treatments are available it is imperative that people with psoriatic arthritis are identified and referred as soon as possible. In order for this to happen we need wider education of both people with psoriasis, and health professionals who are consulted.”