International Day of Immunology 29th April 2019
Every day, millions of people around the world are challenged by debilitating diseases that are the result of an imbalance in the body’s immune system. In Europe alone, 57–70 million people are affected by auto-immune diseases, that’s approximately 1 in 10 people – equivalent to the entire UK population.1 But despite so many people battling the pain and discomfort of diseases such as psoriasis and Crohn’s disease on a daily basis, the impact on people’s lives is not always recognised or taken seriously. And it’s not just the physical aspects that people have to battle with: depression and suicidal thoughts are not uncommon and the impact is far reaching, often affecting friends, family and working relationships too.
That’s why the annual International Day of Immunology on 29th April provides a timely moment to show our commitment to people living with auto-immune disease. For the Peace Within embodies our vision of creating a future where auto-immune disease is a thing of the past.
All auto-immune diseases manifest themselve differently and affect different parts of the body. Although some are less well-known, including psoriatic arthritis and lupus, they all share a common link: chronic inflammation due to a dysfunction of the immune system.
This dysfunction can result in tremendous pain and suffering, which people have to live with every day. It can become difficult to get out of bed and get dressed, attend college or go to work, enjoying family life and caring for children.
Studies have shown that living with auto-immune conditions has a similar impact on quality of life as living with cancer and heart disease.7,8,9
That’s why we at Janssen are commited to discovering and developing new and better medicines so that one day people will be able to live in a world where auto-immune disease is a thing of the past.
“Our mission is to address unmet medical needs in auto-immune diseases, and allow patients with these debilitating diseases to lead normal lives”, says Jaime Oliver, MD Janssen Therapeutic Area Lead, Immunology, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Cilag GmbH International.
1. Cooper G, Bynumb M and Somersc E. Recent insights in the epidemiology of autoimmune diseases: Improved prevalence estimates and understanding of clustering of disease. J Autoimmune 2009;33:197–207.
2. Griffiths C, van der Walt J, et al. The global state of psoriasis disease epidemiology: a workshop report. Br J Dermatol 2017;177(1):e4–e7.
3. Gibofsky A. Epidemiology, pathophysiology, and diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis: A synopsis. Am J Manag Care 2014;20:S128–35.
4. Ng S.C, Shi H.Y, et al. Worldwide incidence and prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease in the 21st century: a systematic review of population-based studies. Lancet 2017;390:2769–78.
5. Lupus Foundation of America. Statistics on Lupus. Available at: https://resources.lupus.org/entry/facts-and-statistics. Last accessed April 2019.
6. Scotti L, Franchi M, et al. Prevalence and incidence of psoriatic arthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Semin Arthritis Rheum 2018;48(1):28–34.
7. Rapp S.R, Feldman S.R, et al. Psoriasis causes as much disability as other major medical diseases. J Am Acad Dermatol 1999;41:401-7.
8. Mease P.J. Assessing the impact of psoriatic arthritis on patient function and quality of life: lessons learned from other rheumatologic conditions. Semin Arthritis Rheum 2009;38:320–335.
9. Walker J.G and Littlejohn G.O. Measuring quality of life in rheumatic conditions. Clin Rheumatol 2007;26:671–673.