Information on arthritis

Facts and statistics


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Arthritis is the most prevalent chronic disease in Canada and there is no cure.
  • Arthritis affects people of all ages, from babies to adults, and once you have it, it’s for life.
  • Arthritis is a complex disease with over 100 different forms. Some of the main types of arthritis are inflammatory arthritis (such as rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and gout) and osteoarthritis, which is the most common form of arthritis. Fibromyalgia is a disease with symptoms similar to arthritis.
  • Arthritis causes painful inflammation and stiffness in the joints, which restricts movement.
  • If left untreated, arthritis can cause permanent damage or changes in the joints.
  • A significant proportion of people with arthritis struggle with being overweight or obese and being sedentary, which puts additional pressure on their joints.
  • Some types of arthritis can affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and even the skin.
  • A significant proportion of people with arthritis have other serious diseases, such as heart disease or diabetes.

Source: The truth about arthritis

Arthritis can have devastating effects on people's lives
  • A significant proportion of people living with arthritis report difficulty with everyday activities, such as housework and shopping, and need help with certain aspects of their lives.
  • People with arthritis are more likely than those without arthritis to experience anxiety, mood disorders, poor mental health and difficulty sleeping.
  • People with arthritis are less likely to be in the labour force than people without arthritis.
  • There is – for the time being – no cure for the disease. Therefore, once diagnosed, people face the challenges and devastating effects of arthritis for the rest of their lives.

Source: The truth about arthritis

Today, 6 million Canadians have arthritis, or 1 in 5 people.
  • Of Canadians over the age of 15, nearly 20% have arthritis, or 1 in 5.
  • Up to 24,000 children have arthritis.
  • More women than men have arthritis.
  • Women account for almost 60% of people with arthritis.
  • In Canada, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men live with arthritis.
  • Although arthritis can affect people of all ages, the risk increases as you get older.
  • Almost half of all people over 65 have arthritis.
  • People of working age are affected by arthritis.
  • More than half of the people with arthritis are under 65 years of age.

Source: The truth about arthritis

The prevalence of arthritis is on the rise: by 2040, the proportion of people with arthritis will increase by 50%.
  • People with arthritis will represent about 24% of the general population; that is 1 in 4 people.
  • Almost 60% of women over 65 will have arthritis.
  • These increases will place an additional burden on health care resources.

Source: The truth about arthritis

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