China has about 100 million people suffering from arthritis, according to recent clinical research results. Experts warned, on the world arthritis day on Thursday, that arthritis is not a disease just affecting elderly people, but liable to affect all age groups.
People who live in moist environments are likeliest to contract the disease, said Tang Fulin, head of Peking Union Medical College Hospital's Arthritis Department, adding that cold can directly cause arthritis. Furthermore, excessive strain placed on joints can cause osteoarthritis.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 355 million people are suffering from arthritis worldwide, including 190 million osteoarthritis patients and over 16.5 million rheumatoid arthritis sufferers as well as sufferers of gouty and hypertrophic arthritis.
As a severe deforming disease, serious osteoarthritis can severely disable people and shorten their life span by 10 to 15 years. The problem is at its crux in Asia where one out of six people is suffering arthritis.
Experts agree that the best way to prevent arthritis is to protect oneself from attacks of coldness and humidity, do more exercise and eat a diet based on vegetables and fruit, instead of meat.
(Xinhua News Agency October 13, 2006)