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The Truth About Arthritis

The Truth About Arthritis

Arthritis is Canada’s most prevalent chronic health condition – for which there is no cure

  • Arthritis strikes people of every age, from infants to adults, and stays for life
  • Arthritis is a complex disease with over 100 different types. Major types are inflammatory (like rheumatoid, childhood, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic), Non-auto immune (gout) or the most common form, osteoarthritis. Fibromyalgia has similar symptoms to arthritis
  • Arthritis results in painful inflammation and stiffness in joints, limiting the ability to move
  • Left untreated, arthritis can cause permanent joint damage and /or changes
  • A significant proportion of individuals with arthritis are overweight or obese and are physically inactive, adding undue stress to their joints
  • Some types of arthritis can affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and even the skin
  • A significant proportion of people with arthritis also have other serious diseases like heart disease or diabetes

Arthritis has a devastating impact on life 

  • A significant proportion of people living with arthritis report difficulties with activities of daily living, such as doing housework and running errands, and report needing assistance with aspects of daily life
  • People with arthritis are more likely to experience anxiety, mood disorders, poor mental health and difficulty sleeping, than those who do not have arthritis
  • Those with arthritis have a higher than average likelihood of not being  in the labour force
  • There is no cure – yet – consequently people must face the challenges and devastating impact of arthritis for the rest of their lives once diagnosed

Today over 6 million Canadians have arthritis- that’s one in five

  • 20.4% of the population 15+ has arthritis, or 1 in 5
  • As many as 24,000 children have arthritis
  • Women are more likely to have arthritis
  • 59.5 % of people with arthritis are women
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 Canadian men have arthritis
  • While arthritis affects people of all ages, the likelihood increases with age
  • Nearly 1 in 2 seniors over 65 have arthritis
  • People of working age are affected by arthritis
  • 56% of people with arthritis are under age 65

The prevalence of arthritis is on the rise: by 2035, over 40% more people will have arthritis

  • 23.8% of the population will have arthritis, or 1 in 4
  • Nearly 60% of women over 65 will have arthritis
  • These increases will place further undue burden on healthcare resources

Data Source: ACREU Report 2017 Population level health data is gathered through Statistics Canada’s Health Surveys. Data from the 2015 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) which includes all 10 provinces, but does not cover the Territories, children, people living on reserves, and members of the Canadian Armed Forces. The full report is available upon request.