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15.56% of Cantabrians suffer from knee, hand or spinal osteoarthritis

25 May 2012
Healthcare

During the SEMG conference, Dr. Antonio Martín will outline the need for “not forgetting that osteoarthritis is a chronic disease, and that therefore it cannot be treated only during the acute phase”Familial physicians attending the Santander symposium have highlighted the role of primary care doctors in the early detection of osteoarthritis, as well as the efficacy and security of using SYSADOAs as the background treatment of osteoarthritis.

According
to the Sociedad Española de Reumatología, 15.56% of the total Cantabrian
population suffers from knee, hand or spinal osteoarthritis. In other words, there
are more than 89,000 people who suffer from pain and experience problems to
perform everyday activities such as walking, climbing stairs or close their
hand-these problems undermine their quality of life. This is one of the facts
that will be discussed tomorrow at the symposium “Arthrosis: a disease affecting everyone” that will be
held in Santander within the framework of the XIX National Congress of general
and familial medicine.

Dr.
Juan Antonio Martín,
Family and general practitioner, confirmed that
“osteoarthritis is the cause of one out of every six visits to primary care physicians.
This makes necessary a global approach to that disease, one that takes into
account that we are dealing with a chronic disease.” In this regard, Dr. Martín
explains that “there is a certain tendency to use analgesic or
anti-inflammatory drugs as the treatment of choice during excessively long
periods of time, without taking into account that more than half of osteoarthritis
patients are at high risk of suffering gastrointestinal or cardiovascular
problems.”

Dr.
Martín also stressed that “let’s not forget that osteoarthritis is a chronic
disease- therefore, it cannot be treated only during its acute phase. We must
consider the use of SYSADOAs, drugs which are specifically designed for the
treatment of osteoarthritis that improve pain and mobility, reduce the need for
analgesics and AINEs, and do not have secondary effects for the patient”. More
precisely, Dr. Martín explains that chondroitin sulphate reduces chondrocyte
apoptosis, induces an increase in the synthesis of proteoglycans, reduces the production
of the enzymes causing cartilage destruction, reduces inflammation of the
synovial membrane, and balances subchondral bone metabolism.

Finally, Dr. Martín stresses
the key role of primary care physicians in the early detection and daily
management of the disease. Because of its high prevalence, osteoarthritis is
one of the diseases that will be discussed in depth at the SEMG congress.