Healthy Kids : Pediatric Arthritis Often Diagnosed in Late Stages

Khetam Malkawi, Jordan Times, Amman

Arthritis is a leading cause of disability among children worldwide and affects 80 to 90 children out of every 100,000, according to the Jordanian Rheumatism Society, which called the disease dangerous as it leads to death in some cases.

A study conducted at the Queen Rania Paediatric Hospital showed that 45 percent of childhood arthritis cases are diagnosed in late stages, Adel Wahadneh, a pediatrician at the facility, noted in a PowerPoint presentation sent to The Jordan Times.

The study attributed the late diagnosis of the cases to doctors as well as parents, noting that 26 percent of the latter do not take their children's complaints about joint pains seriously.

The study, which included a sample of 40 parents of children with arthritis, also revealed that 48 percent of families give their children pain killers when they have joint pains.

Currently, 450 Jordanian children with arthritis are being treated at the hospital, Wahadneh noted.

According to medicinenet.com, most laypeople and many doctors fail to appreciate that arthritis in children exists. For the children affected and their families, education about the condition is essential

"Many children suffer for months or years before the diagnosis of arthritis is thought of and proper treatment begun. But the problem doesn't end there. Children with arthritis frequently experience difficulty because their teachers and schoolmates don't understand that children can develop arthritis," the website said.

Arthritis affects approximately one child in every 1,000 in a given year. Fortunately, most of these cases are mild. However, approximately one child in every 10,000 will have more severe arthritis that does not just go away, it added.

(c)2012 the Jordan Times (Amman, Jordan)

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