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Study Reveals Possible Connection between Sleep and Rheumatoid Arthritis

A new study, conducted by researchers of the University of Pittsburgh, shows that insufficient or poor sleep may increase the pain and functional disability associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

More than 150 RA suffers filled out detailed questionnaires concerning sleep patterns, emotional health and overall health.? More than 60% of the study participants fell into the category of ?poor sleepers? and more than a third reported having ?rest interrupted at least three times a week from pain, most likely associated with RA.

Researchers suggest that insufficient sleep can lower pain threshold, possibly enhancing the pain and debilitating effects of RA.?If sleep problems aren?t addressed and treated by health care providers, the pain and functional disability of RA can worsen and ultimately make getting sufficient rest even more difficult.

While the findings do show promise for the possibility of improving RA symptoms, more research is necessary to definitively prove that improving sleep would yield positive effects for sufferers of RA.? This study should encourage health care providers to inquire about the possibility of rest issues in patients who are affected by RA and to address any issues with an appropriate course of treatment.? RA can be a very painful and unpleasant condition and any course of action that could alleviate the symptoms would likely be welcome by sufferers.

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