Arthritis Society steps in to maintain vital child registry

March 2, 2015

Three-year funding provides stability for one of the world’s largest databases of its kind

TORONTO – March 2, 2015

To launch Childhood Arthritis Month 2015, The Arthritis Society today announces its three-year funding commitment to one of the most important studies in Canada on juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). The Society will invest $300,000 to keep alive “ReACCH” (Registry in Arthritis in Canadian Children), which since 2005 has tracked Canadian youth newly diagnosed with arthritis.

This study – one of the largest JIA cohorts in the world – is a powerful real-time way to conduct detailed research on one of the biggest causes of chronic disability in Canadian children. Launched in 2005, it has enrolled 1,500 Canadian children with JIA, tracking the disease’s impact and progression.

“With no other funding forthcoming to maintain this much-needed registry, we felt compelled to act to ensure we don’t lose out on more major discoveries such as those already emerging from ReACCH,” said Joanne Simons, chief mission officer at The Arthritis Society.

“We are finding new answers about how childhood arthritis advances, identifying what will happen to the young patients over the coming years, and giving hope for families who live with the daily reality of this chronic disease. We may also learn lessons that can help adults with arthritis.”

Key points about ReACCH
  • 1,500 children newly diagnosed with JIA were tracked for five years
  • Collects data on disease activity, symptoms, inflammation markers, joint damage, medications, functional status and quality of life
  • Early result: 42% of children will experience painful flare-ups even when arthritis is inactive
  • Early result: chance for remission varies for different types of JIA
  • Involves collaboration of 16 different pediatric rheumatology centres, making up the “Canadian Alliance of Pediatric Rheumatology Investigators” (CAPRI)
  • The Arthritis Society is currently its sole funder
“With enough time, you can mine this data and learn incredibly insightful things,” said lead researcher Dr. Lori Tucker, chair of CAPRI. “We can paint a true picture of how arthritis impacts a child’s current and future life, while also mapping how childhood arthritis progresses and the impact of new treatments.”

From coast to coast, as many as 24,000 children and teens have arthritis. Increasing evidence suggests that for many Canadians with arthritis, the origins of their disease can be traced back to childhood.

ABOUT THE ARTHRITIS SOCIETY

The Arthritis Society has been setting lives in motion for over 65 years. Dedicated to a vision of living well while creating a future without arthritis, The Society is Canada’s principal health charity providing education, programs and support to the over 4.6 million Canadians living with arthritis. Since its founding in 1948, The Society has been the largest non-government funder of arthritis research in Canada, investing nearly $190 million in projects that have led to breakthroughs in the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with arthritis. The Arthritis Society is accredited under Imagine Canada’s Standards Program.  For more information and to make a donation, visit www.arthritis.ca.
- 30 -

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Jeff Jurmain 
National Communications Specialist – The Arthritis Society
416-979-3348 x3354
647-461-0743 (c)
jjurmain@arthrite.ca