A Call For Better Monitoring and Treatment Of Scleroderma Patients PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 01 July 2012 22:42
The New Zealand Scleroderma Group is calling for the introduction of a monitoring and treatment programme for New Zealanders with scleroderma to mark World Scleroderma Day on June 29.

Scleroderma is an autoimmune connective tissue disease that can affect many organs of the body. It is associated with excessive inflammation, fibrosis and vascular disease and causes hardening and restriction of the skin and internal organs such as the lungs and kidneys, sometimes progressing rapidly to death. It affects people of all ages.

It is likely that about 1,000 people in New Zealand have scleroderma with most of these patients being cared for by rheumatologists.

In 1994 the National Advisory Committee on Core Health and Disability Services considered that there should be one rheumatologist per 100,000 people. A 2004 study found that rather than improving, the provision of rheumatologists was worse with one rheumatologist per 251,211 people.

The study suggested inadequate funding and now the New Zealand Scleroderma Group calls on the Government to adequately fund rheumatological and other related services.

In 2007 a study of scleroderma patients at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland was published showing they were poorly monitored.

Although there is no cure for scleroderma, early detection and treatment of failing organs in scleroderma can improve quality and extend people’s lives.

There are monitoring programmes in centres around the world. In Australia 12 centres are involved in the Australian Scleroderma Screening Program. Three centres in New Zealand are members of a Europe based programme.

World Scleroderma Day marks the death of leading Swiss expressionist artist Paul Klee who died on this day in 1940 of scleroderma. He was diagnosed in 1935. Paul’s production slowed noticeably as scleroderma took hold. His artwork began to transform from light and joyful to murky and echoing.

The New Zealand Scleroderma Group is joining with other scleroderma groups around the world to raise awareness and improve health care for this potentially serious condition.

Source: Scoop Health (2012), "Scleroderma Patients: Call For Better Monitoring, Treatment"; Original article can be viewed here

 
More articles :

» Sildenafil Reduces Raynaud's Frequency in Systemic Sclerosis Patients

Researchers in Europe reported that treatment with modified-release sildenafil significantly reduced the frequency of attacks of in patients with limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis (lcSSc), also known as . The double-blind, placebo-controlled...

» Unite Against Scleroderma 2012

For our second year running, the Scleroderma Care Foundation will be hosting its “Unite Against Scleroderma” Awareness Walk around the , Port of Spain. Scheduled to start from 3:00pm, the Walk would be held on Sunday May 6th 2012 and cover one...

» Rituximab Shows Promise in Scleroderma

Rituximab (Rituxan) improved lung function in patients with , a small proof-of-principle study found.At one year, patients randomized to receive rituximab had a median 10.25% increase in forced vital capacity (FVC) compared with baseline, while...

» Lower Extremity Ulcers in Systemic Sclerosis: Features and Response to Therapy

Victoria K. Shanmugam, MBBS, MRCP; Patricia Price, PhD; Christopher E. Attinger, MD; Virginia D. Steen, MD Non-digital lower extremity ulcers are a difficult to treat complication of scleroderma that is often refractory to therapy. They are a...

» Vitamins for Scleroderma

is a class of diseases in which your skin and organs tighten and harden. This autoimmune condition occurs when your body produces an excess of , a protein that comprises your connective tissues. Scleroderma may affect the skin on your hands and...

» UTHealth Scientists Closing In On Genes Tied To Scleroderma

A new study designed to test suspected links between genes and two immune disorders could open the door to better ways to diagnose and treat the conditions that affect a combined total of approximately 2.5 million people in the United States, report...