National Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Week

This week – 17th – 23rd June – is National Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Week.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a progressive, incurable, autoimmune condition, in which the immune system,  which normally protects the body, mistakenly attacks the joints, creating inflammation and pain. It is comparatively unknown, which is surprising since it affects approximately 400,000 people in the UK many more than other well-known long term conditions – those have gained a much higher profile than RA.  For instance, there are approximately 70,000 Muscular Dystrophy, 108,000 MS, 115,000 Crohn’s Disease, 127,000 Parkinson’s and 250,000 ME / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients in the UK.

The public perception of RA – if people are even aware of the distinction between RA and Osteoarthritis (OA) – is that it only affects older people.  In fact, the most common age of onset is between 40-60 and RA can actually affect anyone over the age of 14: few people are aware that children can be diagnosed with Junior Idiopathic Rheumatoid Arthritis (JIA). Someone with RA may  look to the outside world absolutely fine but behind a smile they may well be suffering severe pain and mobility issues.

RA can affect joints, heart, lungs and eyes.  In this respect it is different from Osteoarthritis, which is confined to joints and is a  condition of progressive wear and tear affecting mainly the elderly. RA can also cause debilitating pain throughout the body, not just in joints. The treatment of Osteoarthritis is relatively simple when compared to the treatment of RA, which is complex.

But the good news is that treatment of RA is steadily improving thanks to recent advances in medical science. Whilst there is still no cure,  early diagnosis and prompt treatment will enable the condition to be controlled and can enable patients to live full and active lives.

The main aspects affecting the availability and cost of Life Insurance for those with RA are: –

  • Age when diagnosed
  • Severity of symptoms
  • Which joints / part of the body are affected
  • Medication taken
  • Any other complications or other conditions e.g. Cardiovascular disease, Anaemia, Osteoporosis or infections

In general RA patients who have been diagnosed recently and are benefiting from the new treatments such as anti-TNFa Biologics medication should not have problems in obtaining Life Assurance from the standard market but if they do they can contact us to see if we can assist.  We cannot help everyone but because of our experience and specialist knowledge we can often find solutions.

For questions about  cover and for more details generally please visit our website: 

Or contact one of the team on:

Telephone:   01280 841430      E-mail:  [email protected]