Why Arthritis?

Arthritis is a major cause of disability worldwide. In Canada, one in five Canadians lives with arthritis and one in three lives with musculoskeletal pain. Arthritis is a disease that affects joints, bones and connective tissues profoundly impacting quality of life and reducing life expectancy. MSK is ranked #3 in terms of disability adjusted life years (DALYs) and is the most rapidly growing cause of years of lost healthy years of life. These conditions are the most frequent cause of years of healthy life lost of disability. With each passing day many more Canadians find themselves fighting this disease, which costs our economy an estimated $50 billion each year.

Arthritis is the leading cause of chronic disability in Ontario. It becomes increasingly prevalent with advancing age with one in three (33.8%) senior males and one in two (50.6%) senior females reporting arthritis. Although arthritis is associated with aging, a significant number of Ontarians in their prime working years are affected: at ages 45-64, 17.2% of males and 24.8% of females report a diagnosis of arthritis.

By 2035, it is estimated that over 40% more people will have arthritis. Overall, this increase will lead to 1 in 4 of the population being affected by arthritis and connective tissue diseases.

By the Numbers

350 million
People living with arthritis around the world – it's a leading cause of disability

(Global RA Network)

$35 billion+
Cost of arthritis, injuries and musculoskeletal-related diseases to the Canadian health care system

(Canadian Institutes of Health Research)

Canadians living with arthritis who are under 65

(Arthritis Society)

20 years
until the number of Canadians living with arthritis increases by 50%
(Arthritis Society)
6 million
Canadians currently living with arthritis

(Arthritis Society)


Back to Top