Arthritis takes a toll on working population
TORONTO, Oct. 31, 2012 /CNW/ – One in three respondents to the ‘Fit For
Work Survey’ conducted for The Arthritis Society reported that they
stopped working because of their arthritis. The ‘Fit for Work Survey’
polled 1,057 Canadians living with arthritis to investigate, identify
and better understand the impact of this debilitating disease.
Alarmingly, nearly 60 per cent of those individuals who stopped working
because of their arthritis were between the ages of 18 and 54.
“Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in Canada and its impact
on the Canadian economy has been estimated at more than $33 billion
annually,”(1) says Janet Yale, president and CEO of The Arthritis Society. “Our goal
is to ensure that Canadians living with arthritis have access to timely
care and proper treatment in order to reach their full potential in the
Along with the physical pain of the disease comes emotional and
financial stress: 70 per cent of survey respondents suffer from
work-related anxiety. Their top worries include the ability to continue
to earn a satisfactory income, not being able to handle work
responsibilities and managing symptoms sufficiently to go to work.
Arthritis also affects quality of life: 53 per cent of respondents were
forced to reduce the scope of their daily activities because of the
limitations caused by their disease.
“As someone living with rheumatoid arthritis, I can attest that the
disease has affected me both at home and at work,” says 30-year-old
Laura Moses. “Luckily, I have found a treatment that works and can only
hope it will continue to provide me with a good quality of life. I am
blessed to still be working full-time and have insurance to help cover
the costs, but I know that not everyone is so lucky.”
In this regard, nearly half of Canadians living with arthritis were not
able to access necessary and relevant treatment during the last year.
Notably, 24 per cent of respondents were unable to access prescription
medications and 30 per cent were unable to access physiotherapists and
occupational therapists primarily because of cost factors.
(1) The Impact of Arthritis in Canada: Today and over the Next 30 Years. http://www.arthritisalliance.ca/docs/20111022_2200_impact_of_arthritis.pdf
“The survey results, regarding access to treatment, are concerning
because they demonstrate the financial, physical, emotional and
psychological toll on Canadians in the workplace who are living with
arthritis. They reinforce the important and necessary role that The
Arthritis Society, in collaboration with others, needs to play in
removing barriers to treatment and creating an arthritis-friendly
workplace,” says Janet Yale.
The survey, conducted by Leger Marketing, was made possible through a
grant by Abbott Canada. Abbott, a global, broad-based health care
company, has been supportive of the Fit for Work initiative both on the
Canadian and international levels. The aim of the initiative is to
demonstrate that improvements in early intervention, treatment and
return to work practices could help people of working age, with even
severe musculoskeletal disorders, continue to make a meaningful
contribution in the workplace.
ABOUT THE ARTHRITIS SOCIETY
The Arthritis Society is dedicated to a vision of living well while creating a future without arthritis. It is Canada’s principal health charity providing education, programs
and support to 4.6 million Canadians with arthritis and their loved
ones. Since its founding in 1948, The Society has been the largest
non-government funder of arthritis research in Canada by investing more
than $180 million in projects that have led to breakthroughs in the
diagnosis, treatment and care of people with arthritis.
SOURCE Arthritis Society