Health File

October 27, 2011 at 9:43 am Leave a comment

New Report Indicates Arthritis is a $33 Billion Burden on Canadians Arthritis Alliance of Canada Calls for Governments, Healthcare Communities to Work Together

QUEBEC CITY, Oct. 27, 2011 /CNW/ – Although it has been described as an invisible disease, the impact of arthritis on the Canadian economy can’t be ignored. A new report from the Arthritis Alliance of Canada (AAC) estimates that osteoarthritis (OA) – the most prevalent form of the disease – and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) costs the Canadian economy $33 billion through (direct) healthcare expenses and (indirect) lost productivity and taxes. The Impact of Arthritis in Canada: Today and Over the Next 30 Years provides a detailed look at the impact of arthritis and offers solutions on how to mitigate and manage the situation.

The report reveals many surprising findings about the prevalence of arthritis in Canada now and in the future, and the overall cost of the disease to the healthcare system, including:

•There are currently more than 4.4 million people living with OA. In 30 years, more than 10 million or one in four Canadians is expected to have OA. Within a generation (in 30 years), there will be a new diagnosis of OA every 60 seconds.
•There are currently more than 272,000 people living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), comprising 0.9% of the Canadian adult population, which will increase to 1.3% over the next 30 years.
•At present:
•Arthritis drives $12.6 billion in direct healthcare costs ($10.2 billion for OA; $2.4 billion for RA) which represents healthcare expenses
•Arthritis drives $20.6 billion in indirect healthcare costs ($17.3 billion for OA; $3.3 billion for RA) which represents lost productivity and taxes
Which means that based on 2010 data, the burden of arthritis on the Canadian economy is $33.2 billion in direct and indirect healthcare costs. These numbers will only grow.

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