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The University Hospital of Guadalajara wins the first contest of clinical cases in menopause osteoarthritis of the AEEM

7 Jun 2012
Healthcare

The contest aims to raise awareness of the diagnosis and treatment of osteoarthritis among gynecologists and resident physicians specializing in gynecologyThe prizes were awarded during the National Congress of the Spanish Association for the study of Menopause (AEEM) that is being held in Alicante.

The service of gynecology and obstetrics of the University Hospital of
Guadalajara won the contest of clinical cases in menopause osteoarthritis hosted
by the Spanish Association for the Study of Menopause (AEEM), and by Bioibérica
Farma. The research team formed by Drs. Giselle Adriana González, María Nuño
and Mª Jesús Cancelo presented the case of a woman that had a visit with its gynecologist
because of a prolapsed uterus and was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and severe
osteoporosis. Their paper emphasized that the gynecologist visiting her was
aware of the problem of bone diseases in post menopausal women, and that
gynecologists must play a key role in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment
of these diseases.

Eight clinical cases were presented to the first contest. Second was the
case presented by the Hospital Universitary de la Paz; third was the case
presented by the Hospital Clínic from Barcelona. According to the national
coordinator of the pain and osteoarthritis study group of the AEEM, Dr. Esteban
Rodríguez Bueno, “osteoarthritis is a disease which affects mostly women, more
the closer the onset of menopause becomes. When we ask our patients how do they
feel, the usual answer is that they have joints pain”. And he adds that
“gynecologists, who bear primary responsibility for protecting feminine health,
should not forget about this problem, that it can be considered a specific
disease: post menopause osteoarthritis”.

Dr. Elena Ruiz,
who specializes in gynecology and obstetrics and is a member of the Study Group
of Pain and Osteoarthritis of the AEEM, tell us that “the EPISER study
highlighted the fact that the prevalence of osteoarthritis experiences a brisk
increase among women older than 45, and we know that one of the causes might be
the decrease in the level of estrogens due to the onset of menopause. Gynecologists
must identify the first symptoms of the disease, because they are the most
often visited health professionals by women.

To be more precise, it has been observed
that estrogens seem to play an important chondroprotecting role, as they
regulate a number of cell processes in the joint tissue. In fact, it has been
demonstrated the presence of estrogen receptors in the cartilage, bone and
synovial membrane, ligaments and muscle. During menopause, there is a decrease
in the level of estrogens that causes degenerative injuries in the cartilage
and subchondral bone, thus leading to a pre-osteoarthritis conditions in women.
According to Dr. Ruiz, “this type of osteoarthritis develops during the first
years of menopause and constitutes a different syndrome which is clearly
different, either from genetic cause osteoarthritis, or from age-related
osteoarthritits”.

This is the reason why the contest of clinical cases in menopause
osteoarthritis was created: to raise awareness of the diagnosis and treatment of
osteoarthritis among gynecologists and resident physicians specializing in gynecology.  

Although osteoarthritis cannot be
cured, that doesn’t mean that we cannot improve the life quality of persons
suffering from that disease. The AEEM recommends, for instance, weight control,
avoid wearing high heels, moderate exercise, and, if necessary, use a walking
cane. The AEEM also recommend using SYSADOA (Slow Acting Drug for
OsteoArthritis) drugs such as chondroitin sulfate or glucosamine sulfate to
improve pain and joint function, and to delay disease progression.