Questions About Arthritis? Get Expert Answers During ABC News’ “Arthritis in America” Twitter Chat with the American College of Rheumatology

ATLANTA, May 16, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) – the nation's leading organization representing rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals – will co-host the ABC National News "Arthritis in America" Twitter chat with ABC Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser on May 17, 2016 from 1-2 p.m. EST, in recognition of May's National Arthritis Awareness Month.

The #ABCDrBChat is an interactive, Q&A-style Twitter chat with some of the nation's leading healthcare experts that focuses on popular health topics and attracts millions of participants and viewers each week. The "Arthritis in America" Twitter chat will cover topics such as living well with arthritis, current treatment options, research opportunities, and care challenges. Answers will be provided by Dr. William Harvey, MD, MSc, FACR, Director of the Arthritis Treatment Center at Tufts Medical Center, and Dr. Eric M. Ruderman, MD, Professor of Rheumatology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, from the ACR Twitter handle at @ACRheum.

"Most Americans would be surprised to learn that arthritis and other rheumatic diseases are the nation's leading cause of disability, impacting more than 50 million Americans – including children – and costing more than $128 billion to our healthcare system," said Dr. Harvey. "Despite the prevalence and impact of arthritis, the term 'rheumatic disease' remains mysterious to many Americans. The ACR's goal in co-hosting the 'Arthritis in America' Twitter chat is to support the millions of Americans affected by arthritis by increasing awareness about its symptoms, treatments, current care challenges, and research opportunities."

"The ACR is dedicated to increasing understanding about rheumatic diseases and helping patients access and afford timely, effective care and treatment," said Dr. Ruderman. "Patients living with arthritis and other rheumatic diseases often experience chronic pain and other debilitating symptoms for years before seeking treatment or receiving a proper diagnosis. Early intervention and treatment are critical to helping patients maintain quality of life, avoid long-term disability, and remain active in the workforce and society."

The "Arthritis in America" Twitter chat is also an opportunity to advance the dialogue about the important role of rheumatology care in America, and about what policymakers can do to help Americans access safe, effective, and affordable arthritis care.

Participants are encouraged to join the chat using the hashtag #ABCDrBchat.

"Arthritis in America" ABC News Twitter Chat questions will include:

  • What is arthritis? How common is it and is it on the rise? If you have arthritis, what kind?
  • What causes arthritis? Can any types of arthritis be prevented?
  • How is arthritis diagnosed? When should you consider seeing a rheumatologist (a joint specialist)?
  • How common is arthritis in children? What are the main causes?
  • How is arthritis typically treated? What is most effective?
  • Are there complementary and integrative health approaches for treating arthritis that are supported by science?
  • What diet and lifestyle modifications can help people better manage their arthritis?
  • What are the benefits of exercise for those with arthritis? How do you exercise with arthritis?
  • What are the biggest healthcare and lifestyle challenges facing arthritis patients today? What do you need that you aren't getting?
  • What recent advancements have been made in the area of arthritis clinical research? What are the biggest research needs?
  • Let's share resources. Where can people get good information about arthritis? Information on management and treatment? Support?

Directions for Joining the "Arthritis in America" ABC News Twitter Chat

  1. Join the Twitter Chat from your active Twitter Account.
  2. Sign into the Twitter Chat at 12:45 pm, EST the day of chat from the Twitter management tool that you prefer. Join at #abcDRBchat. ( is a tweetchat management tool that may be helpful to you.)
  3. Once you are signed in, you are welcome to tweet comments, facts, images, and videos as often as you like.
  4. Be sure to use the hashtag #abcDRBchat in all of your tweets. Doing so will make your tweets a part of the actual chat. You can use our #RheumChat hashtag as well!
  5. When responding to a question, include the letter "T" followed by the number of the question.

The American College of Rheumatology is an international medical society representing more than 9,400 rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals with a mission to Advance Rheumatology! In doing so, the ACR offers education, research, advocacy and practice management support to help its members continue their innovative work and provide quality patient care. Rheumatologists are experts in the diagnosis, management and treatment of more than 100 different types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases. For more information, visit

CONTACT: Jocelyn Givens 
         (404) 633-3777 ext. 810


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