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What is Sjogrens Syndrome?

Media Release

23 July 2014

What is Sjogrens Syndrome?

Today is World Sjogren’s Day, and Arthritis New Zealand Chief Executive Sandra Kirby reminds New Zealanders that Sjogrens is one of the more that 140 different forms of arthritis.

“While most people are familiar with the more common forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis and gout, other equally challenging forms of arthritis, such as Sjogrens are far less visible,” said Ms Kirby.

Sjogrens is a chronic disease where the white blood cells attack moisture producing glands. The hallmark symptoms are dry mouth and dry eyes. Patients may experience many other symptoms as well which include: fatigue and joint pain.

Nine out of 10 people who develop Sjogrens are women. The most well known is former world number one tennis star – Venus Williams. Others include singing star Seal.

“Arthritis can strike any one, at any age. One in six New Zealanders are living with the pain of arthritis. And many of them will have one of the rarer forms.”

“Arthritis New Zealand provides advocacy and support for those affected by the rarer forms of arthritis as well as the more common ones,” Ms Kirby concluded.

Arthritis New Zealand is working to increase recognition of all forms of arthritis, including Sjogrens. We are looking for public support to help us achieve this and encourage people to sign our electronic petition.


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