Rheumatoid Arthritis is one of the biggest causes of pain and depression at Christmas

Additionally, RA is impacting on personal relations, with more than a quarter of women believing the condition affects their closest relationships for the worse, and 61% feeling that friends and family do not understand their pain.

"Three quarters of UK women living with RA experience pain every day, which can be more intense during busy times of the year, such as Christmas, and this can seriously impact a patient's enjoyment of the festive season. More than half of patients included in the survey are not talking to their physician about pain control options, which is imperative to enable them to take control of their pain, especially around Christmas when pain can be a considerable issue. This will ensure that more patients achieve a pain free 'good day' and ultimately improve their quality of life." Said Professor Paul Emery, Professor of Rheumatology, University of Leeds.

Shopping for gifts, preparing food, writing cards and going to parties are four festive activities that women living with RA in the UK find most difficult to do. Among women with severe RA, more than three quarters (78%) experience difficulty when shopping for gifts, and 71% report it painful to prepare Christmas food, with more than a quarter (27%) of these women having stopped Christmas cooking altogether.

In light of the 'Good Days' survey findings, UCB and the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society have collaborated to develop the '12 Tips of Christmas' with information to help people with RA manage and enjoy the hectic holiday season. Please visit http://www.nras.org.uk/12Tips for the full guide that details ways to embrace and enjoy the countdown to Christmas.

About Rheumatoid Arthritis

It is estimated that 5 million people suffer from RA globally, with 0.8 percent of the U.K. adult population being affected. Prevalence is not split evenly between genders, since women are three times more likely to be affected than men. Although RA can affect people of all ages, the onset of the disease usually occurs between 30-50 years of age.

RA symptoms often lead to restricted mobility and permanent damage and disfigurement of the joints and bones. People living with RA are at a higher risk of developing other conditions, including heart disease, stroke, depression, infections, lung problems and osteoporosis.

Inflammation of one or more joints of the body. Full medical glossary
Feelings of sadness, hopelessness and a loss of interest in life, combined with a sense of reduced emotional well-being Full medical glossary
Invasion by organisms that may be harmful, for example bacteria or parasites. Full medical glossary
A condition resulting in brittle bones due to loss of bony tissue. Full medical glossary
rheumatoid arthritis Full medical glossary
Any sudden neurological problem caused by a bleed or a clot in a blood vessel. Full medical glossary