Life with Arthritis in Canada: a personal and public health challenge

Chronic Disease Surveillance and Monitoring Division, Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Chronic Diseases and Injuries in Canada (Impact Factor: 1.63). 06/2011; 31(3):135-6.
Source: PubMed


"Arthritis" describes more than 100 conditions that affect the joints, the tissues that surround joints and other connective tissue. These conditions range from relatively mild forms of tendonitis and bursitis to systemic illnesses, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Life with arthritis in Canada: a personal and public health challenge presents the latest knowledge about arthritis in the Canadian population and its wide-ranging impact. It provides an overview of the impact of arthritis, and is designed to increase public awareness of the importance of prevention and timely management. Although progress has been made on interventions, arthritis remains common, disabling and costly. Increasing participation in physical activity and maintaining a healthy body weight may help to mitigate the effects of arthritis.

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Available from: Siobhan O'Donnell, Oct 16, 2014
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    • "In Canada, 4.3% of the population reports Indigenous identity representing First Nations, Inuit and Métis ancestry [1]. Arthritis is the most common chronic disease experienced by Indigenous populations in Canada, and population-based studies estimate that the prevalence of many arthritis conditions is at least 1.3-1.6 times more frequent than that of the non-Indigenous population [2] with high rates of disability observed [3] including rates in the 25–44 year age group [4]. A significant rise in the prevalence of arthritis conditions in the general population is anticipated over the next 30 years [5] and given that approximately half of the Indigenous population is currently under the age of 25 years [1], there will be a great increase in need for arthritis care. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Access to health services is a determinant of population health and is known to be reduced for a variety of specialist services for Indigenous populations in Canada. With arthritis being the most common chronic condition experienced by Indigenous populations and causing high levels of disability, it is critical to resolve access disparities through an understanding of barriers and facilitators to care. The objective of this study was to inform future health services reform by investigating health care access from the perspective of Aboriginal people with arthritis and health professionals. Methods Using constructivist grounded theory methodology we investigated Indigenous peoples’ experiences in accessing arthritis care through the reports of 16 patients and 15 healthcare providers in Alberta, Canada. Semi-structured interviews were conducted between July 2012 and February 2013 and transcribed verbatim. The patient and provider data were first analyzed separately by two team members then brought together to form a framework. The framework was refined through further analysis following the multidisciplinary research team's discussions. Once the framework was developed, reports on the patient and provider data were shared with each participant group independently and participants were interviewed to assess validity of the summary. Results In the resulting theoretical framework Indigenous participants framed their experience with arthritis as 'toughing it out’ and spoke of racism encountered in the healthcare setting as a deterrent to pursuing care. Healthcare providers were frustrated by high disease severity and missed appointments, and framed Indigenous patients as lacking 'buy-in’. Constraints imposed by complex healthcare systems contributed to tensions between Indigenous peoples and providers. Conclusion Low specialist care utilization rates among Indigenous people cannot be attributed to cultural and social preferences. Further, the assumptions made by providers lead to stereotyping and racism and reinforce rejection of healthcare by patients. Examples of 'working around’ the system were revealed and showed potential for improved utilization of specialist services. This framework has significant implications for health policy and indicates that culturally safe services are a priority in addressing chronic disease management.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · International Journal for Equity in Health
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    • "Subsequently, the direct and indirect healthcare burden of arthritis is considerable, particularly when estimates of work-related disability are included [4]. Given that older adults represent a large and growing proportion of the Canadian population [5], the issue of complex chronicity, such as the co-occurrence and interrelation of conditions such as arthritis and stroke, must be given greater attention. "
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    ABSTRACT: Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition commonly associated with mobility restriction and reduced activity. To date, the extent to which arthritis is an independent risk factor for stroke is unclear, and important, in light of an aging population. The purpose of this study was to (i) quantify the cross-sectional association between stroke and arthritis and (ii) to determine whether the relationship differed in physically active and inactivemiddle-aged and older adults. Data was derived from the 2010 Canadian Community Health Survey ( N = 47 188; ≥30 y). Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate the association between arthritis and stroke in models adjusted for age, physical activity (PA), and demographic factors. Overall, individuals with arthritis were 4 times more likely to report a history of stroke ( OR = 3.8 , 95% CI = 3.06–4.68), whereas those who were engaged in at least moderate PA (≥ 1.5 kcal/kg/day) were less than half as likely (0.45, 0.92−0.62). This effect was moderated by age, as younger (30–65 y: 3.27, 2.22–4.83) but not older adults (>65 y: 1.04, 0.8–1.35) with arthritis had elevated odds of stroke. Both physical inactivity and arthritis are associated with higher odds of stroke, effects of which are the strongest amongst 30–65 year olds.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Stroke Research and Treatment
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    • "An Australian study found back problems to be the most commonly reported chronic health condition forcing early retirement [2]. Arthritis is one of the most common causes of long-term disability [4,13], and also a frequent reason for work loss [14,15], although unlike back problems, it is not usually attributed to injury. Numerous studies have shown that individuals with arthritis are at greater risk for work loss, work disability and early retirement [2,3,15-17]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Back problems and arthritis are common chronic conditions, while having back problems is a frequent reason for lost work time. The objective of this study was to investigate employment status amongst individuals who report having both back problems and arthritis, compared to having either condition alone. Methods We analyzed data from the 2007/2008 Canadian Community Health Survey (ages 25–64, n = 79,719). Respondents who reported neither having worked in the past 12 months nor the past week were coded as not currently employed. Those reported being permanently unable to work were considered to be out of the labor force. Log-Poisson regressions, adjusting for socio-demographic and lifestyle factors, were used to estimate risks for being not currently employed or being out of the labor force for 5 mutually exclusive groups of chronic conditions: arthritis and back problems, back problems, arthritis, any other chronic conditions, and no chronic conditions. Results 12.7% of respondents reported being not currently employed and 2.9% being out of the labor force. 5.8% of respondents reported both arthritis and back problems, while 16.1% reported back problems and 7.3% arthritis. The back problems and arthritis group had the highest risk of not being currently employed. The risk was higher for men (PR = 1.90; 95% CI = 1.58, 2.29) than for women (PR = 1.31; 95% CI = 1.18, 1.46). Risks of being permanently unable to work were also the greatest for those with comorbid back problems and arthritis. Conclusions There is a need for a reappraisal of back problems as a cause of work disability to account for the possibility of co-occurring arthritis.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · BMC Public Health
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