Facts About Arthritis and Autoimmune Conditions

  • Arthritis is not a single disease but an umbrella term for over 100 conditions
  • More than 4.6 million (16.7%) Canadians aged 15 years and older are directly affected 
  • Arthritis is not confined to older adults; the majority of Canadians with arthritis are of working age (less than 65 years)1 
  • Average age of onset is between 40 and 60
  • Direct and indirect costs of these diseases is $6.4B annually
  • 55% of those with arthritis report going to work each day despite great pain and discomfort
  • A prolonged course of arthritis may result in extended periods of pain and suffering, reduced sleep, depression and unemployment
  • Arthritis and autoimmune conditions account for over 10% of the total economic burden of illness in Canada yet only 1.3% of attributed health science research is dedicated to arthritis and autoimmune conditions
  • In 1998, arthritis and related conditions were reported as the underlying cause for 2.2 deaths in every 100,000, making arthritis a more common underlying cause of death for Canadians than melanoma, asthma or HIV/AIDS, especially among women2 
  • Two thirds of Canadians with arthritis are women3 
  • The number of Canadians aged 15 years and older with arthritis is projected to be more than 20% by 2026 – more than six million Canadians4 
  • Arthritis research can be used as a model for studying other chronic conditions and disorders associated with aging and, therefore, may have broader implications for other chronic diseases5

The Arthritis Community Research & Evaluation Unit (ACREU) retrieved from http://acreu.ca/about/impact.html, April 2016
3  Ibid.
4  http://www.acreu.ca/about.html
5  Ibid.