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For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org

Cost of arthritis

Published on 22 August 2017

A lady holding her neckThe Times today featured a letter to editor which reports that Arthritis Research UK is calling for arthritis to be recognised for what it is: a public health priority and a significant problem facing the UK. Our call to action has been signed by 16 notable people, including BBC journalist and broadcaster Julian Worricker, actress Sally Hawkins, Caroline Lucas MP, Paralympic athlete Pamela Relph and Professor Luke O’Neill from Trinity College, Dublin. Read the letter in full below:

Dear Sir,

Arthritis affects over 10 million people and is the number one cause of disability in the UK. Four in five of those who have arthritis describe it as a debilitating life condition and over half feel they are a nuisance to loved ones.

What’s more, arthritis-related conditions cause over 30 million sick days every year. A quarter of people with the condition give up work or retire early.

New research shows that rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, two of the most common types of arthritis, currently cost the economy £2.6 billion annually, a figure which is set to rise to £4.7 billion by 2050.

Despite this, the impact of arthritis is invisible - the condition is dismissed as simple aches and pains or even an inevitable and acceptable part of getting older.

If we don’t change how arthritis is currently perceived and acknowledge its impact, we will continue to lose out.

We are calling for arthritis to be recognised for what it is - a public health priority and a significant problem facing the UK, alongside, for example, obesity. Only then can we create the change that is needed in our communities, workplaces and people’s lives to enable us to overcome a problem which is, ultimately, affecting us all.

Liam O’Toole, CEO, Arthritis Research UK

Julian Worricker, Journalist and Broadcaster, BBC

Sally Hawkins, Oscar-nominated actress

Caroline Lucas, MP and Leader Green Party

Doctor Sarah Jarvis, GP and Media Medic

Gyles Brandreth, Writer, Broadcaster and former MP

Pamela Relph, Paralympic athlete

Ian Cass, CEO, Forum for Private Business

Damian Hopley, CEO, Rugby Players Association

Sarah Weir, CEO, Design Council

Paul McManus, CEO, Music For All

Nana Akua, presenter, BBC Three Counties radio

Steven Ward, CEO, UK Active

Professor Luke O’Neill, Trinity College Dublin

Ali Rivett, Chief Executive, British Society for Rheumatology

Professor Janet Darbyshire, University College London

For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.