The Spanish Rheumatology Society (in Spanish, Sociedad Española de Reumatología, SER) and the Osteoarthritis Foundation International (OAFI) will develop new lines of action in the field of research, training and dissemination with the aim of improving the joint health of osteoarthritis patients. Through the signing of a framework agreement, both organizations will promote joint projects that provide greater knowledge about osteoarthritis, and will also contribute to the prevention of this disease among children and athletes.
The SER thus becomes a new member of the Global Osteoarthritis Group, an institution based in Barcelona, Spain, and led by OAFI, which brings together all those involved in osteoarthritis to promote and develop projects to improve patients’ quality of life.
To begin with, both organizations have agreed to work on the study of a report on the sexual health of osteoarthritis patients. Their goal is to be able to detect their main complaints and respond to them through a guide of recommendations.
For the President and CEO of OAFI, Dr. Josep Vergés, this agreement is very positive for improving the patient’s quality of life. “Osteoarthritis patients demand a lot of information about their disease and with this collaboration and various projects, we will be able to provide it to them,” he explained.
It is estimated that 242 million people worldwide suffer from osteoarthritis. This disease has a significant impact on the health and functional capacity of the person who suffers from it. In Spain there are seven million patients with osteoarthritis, and it is the leading cause of permanent disability and the third cause of temporary incapacity for work. Asymptomatic patients may account for as much as 30% of the population. The average annual cost of knee and hip osteoarthritis to the National Health System is 4,738 million euros (2008).
With 1,800 members, the Spanish Rheumatology Society is a non-profit scientific society aimed at promoting knowledge of rheumatic pathologies – diseases of the musculoskeletal system and systemic autoimmune diseases – encouraging medical training, developing studies and research projects in rheumatology and promoting the dissemination and knowledge of these conditions among the general population.
The OAFI International Foundation is committed to the prevention, treatment and improvement of the quality of life of people suffering from osteoarthritis (elderly people, postmenopausal women, andathletes), providing them with greater knowledge about their disease so that they have the necessary tools to slow down its development.