Caroline Wozniacki has led an interesting life. Born in Denmark, she was immediately thrust into athleticism. Her father was a former football player (that’s soccer for you Americans) and her mother a volleyball player. Coached by her father, Caroline became a professional tennis player by age 15. Now, at age 30, she is tackling a new and formidable opponent: rheumatoid arthritis (RA). First diagnosed 2 years ago, this Grand Slam champion now hopes to raise awareness and support for other women with chronic inflammatory diseases. Recently, Caroline announced a partnership with biopharmaceutical company UCB; together, the two will launch the Advantage Hers campaign, designed to highlight unmet patient needs within this sphere.
“Be informed. Be inspired. Be involved.” That is the slogan for the new Advantage Hers campaign, a global health initiative designed to raise awareness and support for the over 90 million women across the globe with chronic inflammatory diseases. These include psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and axial spondyloarthritis, among others. According to Caroline:
I know from experience the difficulties of living day-to-day with a chronic disease, as well as the delays [in] getting a swift and accurate diagnosis.
As a result, her campaign is designed to empower women to learn about their conditions, educate others, and take control of their care. In part, the campaign will feature Caroline sharing her own journeys, including diagnosis difficulties, life adjustments, and future goals. Additionally, it will help women understand issues with family planning and pregnancy, as well as mental and physical struggles, while living with a chronic inflammatory condition.
What are Chronic Inflammatory Diseases?
Chronic inflammatory diseases are characterized by inflammation lasting for several months, up to several years. The immune system identifies potentially harmful stimuli in your body and attacks it, causing inflammation. The location of the inflammation differs based on condition: joint pain and stiffness with RA, lower back pain with axial spondyloarthritis, joint pain with psoriatic arthritis.
Typically, females are more affected by chronic inflammatory diseases than males. These condition can cause permanent joint damage, issues with joint function, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, females often have a more difficult time reaching their diagnosis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Each year, there are over 200,000 new cases of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the United States alone. RA is a progressive and chronic inflammatory disorder that often affects numerous joints, such as those in your hands and feet. Typically, RA is difficult to predict. For some, the condition progresses rapidly. For others, it stays the same for many years. RA is more common in females, particularly those ages 55 and over. Symptoms include:
- Red or lumpy skin
- Swelling or bumps on the fingers
- Joint pain, weakness, and tenderness
- Muscle pain
- Pins and needles sensation
- Physical deformities
- Dry mouth
Learn more about RA.