Rheumatoid arthritis disability linked with poor sleep quality

Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs

A study from the University of Pittsburgh has revealed a link between poor sleep quality and increased levels of disability among rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients.

According to findings published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, patients with disrupted sleeping patterns are more likely to experience severe pain, depressive symptoms, fatigue and functional impairment as a result of their RA affliction.

This conclusion was reached following a cross-sectional examination of data collated from 162 RA sufferers.

Functional disabilities arising from RA can often prevent a patient from easily carrying out basic activities such as dressing, walking and writing.

Dr Faith Luyster, research assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing and the study's lead author, said: "By treating sleep problems either pharmacologically or behaviourally, symptoms and activity limitations associated with RA may be reduced."

According to National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society data, around 400,000 people suffer from RA in the UK, with women estimated to be three times more likely to be affected than men.

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