Rheumatoid Arthritis and Women’s Health

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Women’s Health

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterised by pain, swelling and stiffness in joints which commonly affects the hands, wrists and feet.  Whilst both men and women can suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, it is more commonly seen in women than men.

Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common autoimmune disease with a higher prevalence rate compared to lupus, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis.

(Simmons, 2013)

The incidence rates of rheumatoid arthritis differ between men and women.  The onset of RA occurs much earlier for women, for most, during their 30’s and 40’s.  In an American study, it was noted that the incidence rates peak for women around the ages of 55 to 64, compared to 75 to 84 years of age for men.

(Simmons, 2013)

As most women are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in their 30’s and 40’s, a study found that the diagnosis negatively impacts both the body and mind of women, as indicated in their pain, disease activity, and quality of life scores.  This is due to women being diagnosed at a time when their burdens are the heaviest as this is the time when women are most likely to have children or are raising children combined with work and socialising.

Changes in hormone levels also impacts women.  It has been noted that before a menstrual period, women find the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis to be more severe, but settles during their cycle.  Also, due to the changes in hormone levels during pregnancy, 50 – 60% of women with rheumatoid arthritis noticed that their symptoms improved.

The key to managing rheumatoid arthritis is to start the treatment as early as possible as it can halt or slow the disease, preventing joint damage and complications, including: osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.  Rheumatoid arthritis increases the risk of heart attack by 60%.  To start treatment as early as possible, it is important that it is diagnosed as early as possible.

Randox offer a number of key assays for the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid factor is the most routinely run test to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis as 80% of rheumatoid arthritis patients test positive for rheumatoid factor.  The Randox Rheumatoid Factor reagent offers the following benefits:

  • Wide measuring range of 6.72 – 104lU/ml for the accurate measurement of clinically important results
  • Accurate assessment of rheumatoid factor titre (calibrant standardised against primary WHO material; 1st British Standard 64/2)
  • No interference from complement C1q
  • Automated immunoturbidimetric assay
  • Applications available for a wide range of biochemistry analysers, detailing instrument-specific settings

It has been found that complement C4 and CRP upregulation indicates the middle to late stages of rheumatoid arthritis.

The Randox Complement C4 reagent offers the following benefits:

  • Wide measuring of 3.41 – 152mg/dl for the accurate measurement of clinically significant results
  • Limited interferences from Bilirubin, Haemoglobin, Intralipids, and Triglycerides, producing more accurate results
  • Automated immunoturbidimetric assay
  • Applications available for a wide range of biochemistry analysers, detailing instrument-specific settings

The Randox High-Sensitivity CRP reagent offers the following benefits:

  • Wide measuring of 0.477 – 10mg/l fir the accurate measurement of clinically significant results
  • Liquid ready-to-use reagents for convenience and ease of use
  • Applications available for a wide range of biochemistry analysers, detailing instrument-specific settings

Every woman deserves to make her health a top priority

At a time when a quarter of people under the age of 75 die prematurely from avoidable causes, we have developed a range of health checks which aim to help people extend their lives and live healthier for longer – by promoting wellbeing and actively preventing sickness.

And this month at Randox, in celebration of Women’s Health Month, we’re focussing on our revolutionary Female Health Check – the pioneering Everywoman Programme.

We all have women in our lives who work hard, spend much of their time looking after others, and put everyone else’s needs before their own.  Or maybe you’re one yourself.

Well it’s time we, aswell as our mothers, daughters, sisters, aunties and friends started to appreciate ourselves more, by making sure our health is at the top of our priority list.  Once we make sure that’s taken care of, we can make plans, share experiences and enjoy life the way we choose.

Thanks to the Randox Health Everywoman Programme, you can take steps to avoid developing illness and protect your future health.

The world’s most advanced scientific female health, 150 tests are carried out on a sample of blood to assess the health of individual elements of your body. This includes fertility health, heart health, metabolic syndrome and liver health.

By taking a holistic approach to your body’s health you gain a complete understanding of your current health, and also gain the knowledge you need to manage your future health. Our tests are so sensitive they can identify risk of pre-disease in conditions such as diabetes – which means you can take action to stop it before it becomes a lifelong condition to manage.

Each one of our programmes lasts for twelve months and include personalised health plans, private consultations and repeat testing. This unique aspect enables you to see exactly what impact you’re making on your health as you follow our recommendations.

Programmes are available from as little as £41.66 per month and vouchers can be purchased to give as gifts. Tests are available at our clinics in London, Holywood and Crumlin, and also through our innovative mobile health clinic.

To find out more about the Randox Health Everywoman Programme this Women’s Health Month, email info@randoxhealth.com or phone 0800 2545 130.

 

 

 


Looking after your kidney health during your pregnancy

With this year’s World Kidney Day theme focusing on women’s health and in particular, their kidney health, the campaign is drawing attention to the need for a higher awareness, timely diagnosis and proper follow-up of kidney issues amongst women.

One key area being highlighted by the campaign is the close links between pregnancy and kidney health problems.  The two are intrinsically connected – with CKD considered a high-risk factor for problematic pregnancies and reduced fertility, and in turn, pregnancy-related complications, including preeclampsia, can increase the risk of kidney disease.

Although not commonly known, women who have Chronic Kidney Disease are at increased risk of hypertensive disorders and premature births – which can be devastating for all involved.

Women with Chronic Kidney Disease who become pregnant also usually have mild kidney dysfunction, the severity of which will depend on the stage the CKD is at.

It is clear therefore that there is a need for increased awareness of Chronic Kidney Disease in pregnancy, to timely identify its existence before conception, and to monitor its progress before, during and after birth.

With a comprehensive panel of kidney health tests, Randox are working to ensure timely diagnosis of kidney function problems, to ensure that necessary treatment is administered at the earliest possible stage, when it is most likely to be successful.

Pregnant women, or women hoping to get pregnant in the future, can therefore determine their kidney health and be empowered to embark upon the necessary lifestyle changes or treatment required to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy.

For example, the Randox test for albumin, low concentrations of which are the earliest marker of kidney damage, can identify individuals with diabetic nephropathy (damage to the kidneys caused by diabetes) around 10 years earlier than standard protein tests. The Randox albumin test can therefore enable preventative measures to be taken to reduce your risk of developing kidney disease.

In addition to albumin, there are a number of other highly specific and sensitive tests for kidney health, which are available as part of a Randox Health Check at our Randox Health Clinics. These include;

  • Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate, which is an equation that considers age, gender, blood and protein levels to determine how well the kidneys are functioning.
  • Creatinine, which is a waste product produced by muscle tissue, and removed by the kidneys. When kidney function is diminished, creatinine levels increase.
  • Other proteins within the body which should be filtered by the kidneys, and are therefore measured to determine kidney function, include;

–              Cystatin C

–              Beta-2-Microglobulin

–              Microalbumin, which is not usually found in urine, but can appear when normal kidney function is impaired.

  • Minerals processed by the kidneys and analysed by Randox Health include;

–              Magnesium

–              Calcium

–              Phosphate

–              Potassium

–              Sodium

Both World Kidney Day and Randox are working towards improving healthcare worldwide. With access to these high-performance kidney health tests, expectant mothers with kidney problems can be diagnosed early, before the condition develops into something more serious – keeping both you, and your baby healthy.

With early diagnosis we can improve patient treatment outcomes and reduce the number of people across the world suffering with kidney health problems.

 

If you are a clinician or lab interested in running renal function assays, download our Reagents Brochure or email reagents@randox.com

If you want to find out the status of your own Kidney Health, book a health check with Randox Health today. Speak to our team by phoning 0800 2545 130.

 

 

 


Randox Testing Services: Customer Testimonials from Ireland

At Randox Testing Services (RTS), we pride ourselves on helping our customers improve the health and safety of their working environment. Using our accurate and reliable testing methods and a range of additional services including training and policy reviews, we create tailored packages to meet the needs of our customers. We work with customers all over the world, but this month are highlighting the work we are doing across Ireland.

This month RTS will be attending the Northern Ireland Occupational Health, Hygiene and Wellbeing Conference at Titanic Belfast. This conference brings together companies from a range of industries all across Ireland to discuss the importance of employee health and wellbeing. As a company that began in Northern Ireland, RTS have always had strong connections with local businesses and are continually expanding our reach across Ireland.

Some of the companies with which we currently work, like GRAHAM construction, have recently provided feedback on our services. GRAHAM is based in Hillsborough, Co. Down and is a national construction, asset management and project investment business. They deliver services to a diverse range of clients from a network of regional offices, throughout the UK and Ireland.

GRAHAM Construction are proud to be partnered with Randox as their main Drug & Alcohol Service Provider. Over the years they have given a consistent, prompt, efficient, and professional service that delivered what was promised, when promised, to the proper agreed standards, which assists us in managing our relevant responsibilities with ease and confidence. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to others.”

This is great feedback to receive from such a reputable company who have a range of different testing needs. The construction industry is becoming more and more proactive when it comes to drug and alcohol testing. At RTS our experience working with GRAHAM and other major construction firms across the UK and Ireland means we are extremely well equipped to deal with the changing needs of this industry.

Another industry which requires a flexible and reliable drug and alcohol testing services provider is the aviation industry, especially when it comes to recruitment. We have been working with CAE Parc Aviation Services, the global leader in the provision of aviation personnel and support services to conduct pre-employment testing.

“We use Randox for Pre-Employment and Random Drug & Alcohol testing for select clients. We would happily recommend their services.”

Again, through working with various industries, the experience our staff possess is second to none. By qualifying the exact needs of our customers we create customised, cost-effective packages to ensure all testing needs are met.

As well as offering drug and alcohol testing services, our complete solution also includes a host of training, educational and consultancy services to equip our customers in tackling drug and alcohol misuse. Including comprehensive chain of custody training programs, which enables employers to conduct on-site collections to the same standard as a Randox Testing Services collection specialist.

The Henderson Group in Newtownabbey are another large company that has availed of the services offered by Randox Testing Services. The Henderson Group are the owners of the SPAR, EUROSPAR, ViVO, ViVOXTRA and ViVO Essentials franchises in Northern Ireland and have been distributing food and grocery-related products to the convenience retail sector for over 100 years.

“We switched provider for our Drug and Alcohol policy almost two years ago, moving to Randox.  The switchover was relatively seamless and the impact on our business has been positive.  Our tests are now all completed within target and we have realised a saving to boot.  We are glad we made the switch.”

 

 

Randox Testing Services is committed to tailoring our service to the needs of customers all over the world, and across the island of Ireland.

If your company would like to speak to us, please contact testingservices@randox.com

Alternatively you can contact David O’Regan, the Business Development Executive for Ireland directly: David.O’Regan@randox.com.

 

 


Randox Reagents are Supporting World Kidney Day 2018

On 8th March 2018, Randox Reagents are supporting World Kidney Day!  World Kidney Day is an annual campaign and partnership to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.

 

This year, the World Kidney Day theme is: “Kidney Disease and Women’s Health: Include, Value, Empower”.  Chronic kidney disease affects approximately 195 million women worldwide and it is currently the 8th leading cause of death in women, with close to 600,000 deaths per year.

 

Chronic kidney disease in women has increased over the years.  Women over the age of 50 and African American women have seen the highest rise of kidney failure.  This has been attributed to obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.  It is important that women are screened for renal impairment as although treatment of kidney disease in men and women are the same, the complications associated with renal impairment in women is greater than in men.  The complications women are faced with due to renal impairment include: irregular periods, diminished sex drive and difficulties conceiving.  Whilst it is difficult for a woman with renal impairment to conceive, it is not impossible, however, 50% of babies born to women on dialysis survived with most being born prematurely due to high blood pressure.  There are several measures that women can take to reduce their likelihood of developing renal impairment or manage their symptoms including; lifestyle changes, medication to control associated problems, dialysis and kidney transplant.

 

The standard marker for renal functional is creatinine as creatinine clearance gives a measure of the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), however, creatinine levels are unreliable in individuals who are obese, malnourished, have liver cirrhosis or reduced muscle mass.  Due to this, Randox developed an automated test for Cystatin C, a superior marker of kidney dysfunction.

 

The Randox Cystatin C assay

Cystatin C is a small (13kDa) cysteine proteinase inhibitor that is produced at a constant rate by all nucleated cells.  The small molecular weight of cystatin C allows it to be completely removed and broken down by the kidneys.  Therefore, levels remain steady if the kidneys are working efficiently and the Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) is normal.

There are several studies that have documented the superiority of cystatin C compared to creatinine as a marker of GFR function.  Unlike creatinine, cystatin C does not have a ‘blind area’ meaning it is extremely sensitive to very small changes in GFR and therefore capable of detecting early reductions in GFR.  Up to 50% of renal function can be lost before significant creatinine levels are detected.  GFR estimates based on cystatin C are less influenced by diet or muscle mass compared to GFR estimates based on creatinine, therefore, Cystatin C is also beneficial if the patient is overweight, elderly or has a lot of muscle mass. Cystatin C is also beneficial if previous kidney function tests were inconclusive.

World Kidney Day and Randox are working towards improving healthcare globally.  With continuous investment into R&D, Randox are striving to develop the earliest biomarker for renal function to prevent serious complications.

 

For more information, download our High Performance & Unique Tests Brochure or email reagents@randox.com.

Cystatin C

 

 

For health professionals

If you are a clinician or laboratory who are interested in running renal function assays, Randox offer a wide range of high-quality routine and niche assays including:  Albumin, Ammonia, β2- Microglobulin, Calcium, Chloride, Creatinine Enzymatic and Jaffe, Cystatin C, Glucose, HbA1c, IgG, LDH, Magnesium, Microalbumin, Phosphorus (Inorganic), Potassium, Sodium, Urea, Uric Acid, and Urinary Protein. These can be run on most automated biochemistry analysers.

For more information, download our High Performance & Unique Tests Brochure or email reagents@randox.com.


Take a proactive approach to your kidney health this World Kidney Day

On 8th March 2018, it’s World Kidney Day, a global campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of good kidney health. With a similar agenda to that of Randox, whose vision it is to ensure patients across the globe have access to the latest advancements in health technology, World Kidney Day works to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems.

This year, the World Kidney Day theme is Kidneys and Women’s Health, to highlight that approximately 195 million women worldwide are affected by Chronic Kidney Disease. In 2018 World Kidney Day and International Women’s Day are recognised on the same date, offering the perfect opportunity to reflect on the importance of women’s health and specifically their kidney health.

CKD is currently the 8th leading cause of death in women, with close to 600,000 deaths each year.

According to some studies, CKD is more likely to develop in women compared with men, with an average 14% prevalence in women compared to 12% in men.

However, the number of women successfully put on dialysis for their Chronic Kidney Disease is lower than the number of men – potentially due to slower progression of the disease, inequitable access to transplantation, and a general lower disease awareness.

It is therefore fitting that World Kidney Day has chosen Women’s Health as its theme for this year – due to the clear need for a higher awareness, timely diagnosis and proper follow up of kidney issues amongst women.

With a comprehensive panel of kidney health tests, Randox are working to ensure timely diagnosis of kidney function problems, to ensure that necessary treatment is administered at the earliest possible stage, when it is most likely to be successful.

For example, the Randox test for albumin, low concentrations of which are the earliest marker of kidney damage, can identify individuals with diabetic nephropathy (damage to the kidneys caused by diabetes) around 10 years earlier than standard protein tests. The Randox albumin test can therefore enable preventative measures to be taken to reduce your risk of developing kidney disease.

In addition to albumin, there are a number of other highly specific and sensitive tests for kidney health, which are available as part of a Randox Health Check at our Randox Health Clinics. These include;

  • Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate, which is an equation that considers age, gender, blood and protein levels to determine how well the kidneys are functioning.
  • Creatinine, which is a waste product produced by muscle tissue, and removed by the kidneys. When kidney function is diminished, creatinine levels increase.
  • Other proteins within the body which should be filtered by the kidneys, and are therefore measured to determine kidney function, include;
  • Cystatin C
  • Beta-2-Microglobulin
  • Microalbumin, which is not usually found in urine, but can appear when normal kidney function is impaired.
  • Minerals processed by the kidneys and analysed by Randox Health include;
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Phosphate
  • Potassium
  • Sodium

Both World Kidney Day and Randox are working towards improving healthcare worldwide. With access to these high-performance kidney health tests, patients with kidney problems can be diagnosed early, before the condition develops into something more serious.

Although end stage kidney failure affects only 0.05% of the general population, it commands between one and two billion pounds a year of the entire annual NHS budget. We know that loss of kidney function is devastating and hope our innovations can identify those at risk of kidney problems before they occur.

One such test for Chronic Kidney Disease risk measures levels of the protective hormone adiponectin, and is available exclusively at Randox.

Adiponectin can accurately assess levels of hidden and dangerous visceral fat within the body, which is the main cause of almost all the disorders associated with metabolic syndrome, including Chronic Kidney Disease. Assessing adiponectin can determine risk of CKD, as well as a range of other illnesses including prediabetes, cardiovascular disease and various cancers.

By using adiponectin to assess risk of kidney problems, we can empower individuals with the tools they need to prevent kidney problems in their future.

With early diagnosis we can improve patient treatment outcomes and reduce the number of people across the world suffering with kidney health problems.

If you are a clinician or lab interested in running renal function assays, download our Reagents Brochure or email reagents@randox.com

If you want to find out the status of your own Kidney Health, book a health check with Randox Health today. Speak to our team by phoning 0800 2545 130.

 


Clinical Laboratory Survey