I find it fascinating that one in five people you meet have or will develop an autoimmune disease, yet it’s rarely spoken about. The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AKA AARDA) national awareness campaign combats a severe lack of public information regarding autoimmune diseases. We’ve teamed up with AARDA for Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month to share some key statistics about autoimmune disease for a deeper understanding of its impact.
- Autoimmune disease has impacted over 50 MILLION AMERICANS
- Approximately 75% of autoimmune diseases occur in women
- The term “Autoimmune Disease” includes more than 100 diseases
- The cause of autoimmune diseases is unknown
- Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system malfunctions and mistakenly attacks healthy cells, tissues, and organs
- It may take months or even years to confirm a diagnosis - as a result misdiagnoses are common
- There are no cures for autoimmune diseases, but there are treatments to reduce symptoms
- Autoimmune diseases tend to cluster in both families and individuals
- This lack of information is a significant factor in an unnecessarily high death rate attributed to misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis
- It is also a significant factor in high healthcare costs
AARDA advocates for policies important to people living with autoimmune disease and their families. They also advocate for Autoimmune Disease Issues like Copay Assistance in Washington, access to prescription drugs for patients and physicians, and promotion of proposals for policies on the federal and state level.
AARDA supports education and patient awareness through the ARNet Research Survey, Autoimmune Disease List, Education Modules, Coping Tools, COVID-19 Resources, Diagnosis Tips, Newsletters, and additional patient resources with links for financial help, co-pay relief assistance, clinical trials, and how to contact your legislature.
As someone who lives with multiple autoimmune diseases, organizations like AARDA are incredibly helpful to have as part of my support network. I highly recommend anyone living with autoimmune disease (or suspects they may be but haven’t been diagnosed) join the AARDA community for support - it’s truly changed my autoimmune journey for the better.