TORONTO, July 19 /CNW/ - The already staggering social and economic
costs of arthritis in Canada are set to explode during the coming
decades, says The Arthritis Society in response to a report released by
the Public Health Agency of Canada today.
Life with Arthritis in Canada (available at http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/cd-mc/arthritis-arthrite/lwaic-vaaac-10/index-eng.php)
documents the latest trends and data regarding arthritis among Canadians
over the age of 15.
"The devastating impact of arthritis on Canadian society has gone
unnoticed in the public arena for too long," said Steven McNair,
President and CEO of The Arthritis Society. "This report confirms that
arthritis is becoming a major health challenge for Canada, as more
people consume more health-care resources to manage their pain and
disability. This means we need to step up our efforts to find better
treatments and a cure."
Among the report's many findings:
Arthritis is among the leading causes of disability in Canada, costing
the Canadian economy $6.4 billion every year in health-care expenses
and lost work days. Long-term disability accounts for two-thirds of
More than four million Canadians aged 15 and older (16 per cent of the
population) reported they had arthritis in 2007-2008, with three out
of five being under 65. This number is estimated to increase to seven
million by 2031.
Arthritis is the second and third most common chronic condition
reported by women and men, respectively.
Arthritis accounted for six per cent of all hospitalizations in Canada
in 2005-2006 (132,000 out of 2.2 million).
Joint replacements more than doubled in Canada from 2001-2005.
Arthritis affects people of every age, physical condition and ethnic
background. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, caused by joint
inflammation and degeneration. According to the report, about 60 per
cent of Canadians with the disease report difficulties with
participating in recreation, leisure, hobbies or social activities.
The Arthritis Society says many of the risk factors associated with
arthritis, such as physical inactivity and poor diet, can be modified to
reduce pain and increase joint flexibility. "We hope this report will
serve as a wake-up call for people to take control of their disease
through a healthy lifestyle and with the benefit of current treatments,"
Life with Arthritis in Canada brings together data from national
population health surveys, provincial physician billing, drug databases,
hospital admissions and mortality statistics, among other sources. It
was developed in consultation with leaders from the scientific and
research community, as well as stakeholder groups such as The Arthritis
About The Arthritis Society
The Arthritis Society (www.arthritis.ca) is Canada's principal health
charity empowering the more than four million Canadians with arthritis
to live their lives to the fullest through extensive programs and
services. Since its founding in 1948, The Society has invested more than
$170 million towards arthritis research to develop better treatments
and, ultimately, find a cure.
SOURCE Arthritis Society
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