Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can polymyalgia rheumatica happen to young women?"
Is this something I can develop as I age? My mother has it now.
While cases of polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) can occur in younger people, the vast majority of people that develop this disease are over the age of 60. The average age that a patient who presents to a doctor with symptoms of PMR is age 70. Thus as you can see, it would be exceedingly unusual for a young person to get it. It does occur more often in women than in men. PMR is a disease that causes pain in the joints, most notably the shoulder and hip joints. This pain can be severe and can greatly limit your mobility. PMR is diagnosed by a description of the symptoms and a blood test to look for the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein. The disease responds dramatically to prednisone. Thus, if your mother is being treated with prednisone, she should be feeling better already. If you develop any symptoms such as joint pains, fevers, or just plain feeling bad, then you should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can listen to your symptoms and perform a thorough physical exam. If some day your are suspected to have PMR, a test for the erythrocyte sedimentation rate or C-reactive protein will tell if you have it or not.
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