Relationship Expert Teams Up with Pfizer to Address Intimacy and Relationship Issues for People Living with Chronic Diseases

Logan Levkoff, Ph.D., addresses tough topics for those living with
rheumatoid arthritis on Arthritis.com

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nationally-recognized relationship expert and author, Logan Levkoff,
Ph.D., has partnered with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) to fill a void in
information available to people living with chronic diseases:
relationship advice. Levkoff will address the topics of relationships
and intimacy for those living with a chronic condition, like rheumatoid
arthritis (RA), on the newly re-launched Arthritis.com site. The website
is a place where people living with a chronic illness can find
inspiration, lifestyle advice, tools, and disease information. While
many Americans struggle with these issues, Pfizer has heard from some
members of the RA community that they can be particularly challenging
for those living with chronic diseases such as RA, and that information
hasn’t been widely available for this community until now.

“People living with chronic conditions like RA are constantly juggling
many aspects of their lives in relation to their health. In particular,
they may face intimacy and relationship hurdles due to fatigue, joint
pain or poor self-image, to name a few,” says Logan Levkoff, Ph.D., an
American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists
(AASECT)-certified sex educator and TV personality. “I’m thrilled to be
partnering with Pfizer on Arthritis.com to help provide insight on
dealing with tough issues including self-love, dating and communicating
with partners, which may be particularly difficult for people living
with a chronic condition.”

These topics can be difficult for people living with a chronic
condition, like RA, to face head-on as part of their day-to-day lives.
In fact, one small study using self-administered questionnaires with
those living with RA (n=57) revealed that more than half feel that their
disease places limitations on intimacy and more than a third say that
living with RA has strained their relationship with their partner.1

“People living with RA have a lot to cover and discuss during doctor
visits. Having a support system and educational resources are important
when managing the disease,” says Ara Dikranian, MD, Rheumatologist,
Cabrillo Center for Rheumatic Disease.

“Arthritis.com will help bring to light topics that may not have been
discussed in-depth, and the content encourages people to take action and
speak with their healthcare provider about ways to manage their
condition beyond just treating symptoms.”

As part of its commitment helping to improve the lives of people living
with arthritis by providing education and awareness, Pfizer will
continue to roll out new resources on Arthritis.com, focusing on
under-addressed topics.

“We know that many of the millions of people suffering from rheumatoid
arthritis2,3 are struggling with more than just the physical
symptoms of the disease,” says Angela Hwang, Global President
Inflammation and Immunology at Pfizer. “We are developing resources like
Arthritis.com to help provide information on topics that go beyond
medicine. We are committed to supporting the overall wellbeing of people
with RA.”

About Arthritis.com

Arthritis.com is Pfizer’s newly updated support site where people can
find inspiration, advice, tools and disease information to help manage
RA in daily life. In addition to articles on love, relationships, dating
and financial advice, the website also offers information on exercise,
nutrition, parenting, and spirituality. Techniques on how to set
treatment goals are also available via the website.

About Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disease
that causes a range of symptoms, including stiffness and swelling in the
joints,4,5 particularly those in the hands, feet and knees.3
Although the exact cause of RA is unknown,3 it is considered
to be an autoimmune disease, because the immune system in people with RA
mistakes the body’s healthy tissues as a threat and attacks them.3
Some people are at increased risk of developing RA, including people
with a family history of RA, smokers and women.6 Three times
as many women are affected by RA compared to men.3
Approximately 1.6 million Americans are trying to manage symptoms of RA.7,8
It can develop at any time during adulthood, but it usually occurs
between 40 and 70 years of age.2

About Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic condition characterized by the
breakdown of joint cartilage.9 OA is the most common form of
arthritis.9 While the cause of OA is unknown, it occurs when
cartilage breaks down in the joints over time. OA can occur in any
joint, but is the most common in the knees, hips, hands, and spine. OA
affects nearly 27 million adults in the U.S.,9 and is the
most common of all types of arthritis in the U.S.9 About 1 in
2 people in the U.S. will experience OA of the knee in their lifetime.

Pfizer Inc.: Working together for a healthier world™

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies
to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive
to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery,
development and manufacture of healthcare products. Our global portfolio
includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world’s
best-known consumer healthcare products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues
work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness,
prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases
of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world’s
premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with
health care providers, governments and local communities to support and
expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For
more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who
rely on us. For more information, please visit us at www.pfizer.com.
In addition, to learn more, follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer
and @Pfizer_News,
LinkedIn,
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and like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Pfizer

__________________________

1 Hill J, Bird H, Thorpe R. Effects of rheumatoid
arthritis on sexual activity and relationships. Rheumatology.
2003;42(2):280-286.
2 Sacks JJ, Luo YH, Helmick CG. Prevalence of specific
types of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in the ambulatory
health care system in the United States, 2001-2005. Arthritis Care
Res (Hoboken). 2010;62(4):460-464.
3 Howden L, Meyer J. 2010 U.S. Census Bureau results —
U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census Summary File 1.

4 Medline Plus. “Rheumatoid Arthritis” Accessed 22
August 2016. Available at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000431.htm

5 Lee DM, Weinblatt ME. Rheumatoid arthritis. Lancet.
2001;358:903-911.

6 Mayo Clinic. “Rheumatoid Arthritis. Symptoms and
causes” Accessed 22 August 2016. Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rheumatoid-arthritis/symptoms-causes/dxc-20197390

7 Sacks JJ, Luo YH, Helmick CG. Prevalence of specific
types of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in the ambulatory
health care system in the United States, 2001-2005. Arthritis Care
Res (Hoboken). 2010;62(4):460-464.
8 Howden L, Meyer J. 2010 U.S. Census Bureau results —
U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census Summary File 1.

9 National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal
and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). Handout on health: osteoarthritis.
Updated April 2015. Accessed August 10, 2016. Available at http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Osteoarthritis/.

Contacts

Media:
Pfizer Inc.
Steven Danehy, 978-273-3946
Steven.Danehy@pfizer.com