Stigma Hinders Treatment and Awareness of One of Canada’s Leading Diseases

September 5, 2012 | Natalie Pavlenko

Leads to staggering socio-economic implications for all Canadians

According to a recent poll conducted by The Arthritis Society, more than a quarter of Canadians report that if they had joint pain, they would not view it as a health priority and close to half still believe that joint pain primarily affects older Canadians. These and other stigmas surrounding arthritis have far-reaching implications for all Canadians and may cost our economy up to $33 billion annually.

“One of the biggest myths is that arthritis is an “old person’s” disease, says Janet Yale, President and CEO of The Arthritis Society. “The fact is that arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability in Canada impacting people from two to 92 years old. As part of Arthritis Awareness Month we want to educate people about the disease and debunk these myths so that Canadians get the treatment they deserve.”

This September, The Society is launching the ultimate go-to resource for Canadians – a new website: www.arthritis.ca. It offers visitors customized information on types of arthritis, options for treatment and advice from experts. Some of the unique features of the website include a portal providing access to tips on living well and invitations to educational and community events; a large collection of online educational presentations and resources to help users manage daily activities and take charge of their disease; and engaging discussion boards, empowering users to connect and create their own discussion topics and private groups.

“People who do not consider joint pain a health priority are at risk of developing life-altering symptoms down the road, including severe pain and inflammation, fatigue, joint damage, loss of mobility, potential surgery, physical and emotional fatigue and possible psychological effects,” says Yale.

The poll results are concerning to The Society because the disease not only puts people living with arthritis at risk, it has far-reaching socio-economic implications for all Canadians. The poll, conducted by Ipsos Reid, was made possible through the generous support of Rub-A535 ®.

Not only can arthritis inhibit daily activities most take for granted, such as getting dressed, opening a door or holding a fork, it impacts people in the workplace, costing the Canadian economy billions.

About The Arthritis Society

The Arthritis Society is dedicated to a vision of Living well while creating a future without arthritis. It is Canada’s principal health charity providing education, programs and support to 4.6 million Canadians with arthritis and their loved ones. Since its founding in 1948, The Society has been the largest non-government funder of arthritis research in Canada by investing more than $180 million in projects that have led to breakthroughs in the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with arthritis.

About Church & Dwight Canada Corp.

Church & Dwight Canada Corp., makers of Rub-A535 ®, is a division of Church and Dwight Co. Ltd. a leading manufacturer and distributor of health and beauty products, industrial and household cleaners, over-the-counter medicines, and pet products.

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For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Natalie Pavlenko
The Arthritis Society
National Marketing and Communications Manager
416-979-7228 ext. 3348
npavlenko@arthritis.ca

Franco Cignelli
The Arthritis Society                                                  
National Marketing and Communications Specialist
416-979-7228 ext. 3354
fcignelli@arthritis.ca