- Arthritis literally means ‘joint inflammation’3a
- There are over 100 different forms of arthritis3b
- As many as 1.5 million South Africans could be living with arthritis4
- Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States1d
- Arthritis costs the United States economy around $128 billion per year1a
- An estimated 50 million adult Americans report having some form of arthritis1b
- One in five (22%) adults in the United States report having doctor diagnosed arthritis1b
- Arthritis is more common in women (24.9%) than men (18.1%)3c
- Over 10 million adults in the UK consult their GP with arthritis and related conditions each year2b
- More than 6 million people in the UK have osteoarthritis in one or both knees2a
- Girls are twice as likely to develop juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) as boys3c
Arthritis: the myths4
- There is only one type of arthritis
- Only ‘old people’ develop arthritis
- Children do not suffer from arthritis
- Diet can prevent or treat your arthritis (it can only indirectly help)
- Disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) ‘poison the body’
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): 5 facts you should know
- RA affects up to 1% of the population10 (approx. 500 000 South Africans)
- RA affects over three times as many women as men10
- The incidence of RA in women has risen since 19959
- An RA sufferer is twice as likely to die as a non-RA sufferer of the same age12
- Up to 40% of working people with RA lose their jobs within 5 years13
Osteoarthritis (OA): 5 facts you should know
- Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis11a
- 50% of all adults will develop symptomatic OA of the knee at some point in their lives11b
- Osteoarthritis is not an ‘old person’s disease’11c
- 94% of hip and 97% of knee replacements carried out in the UK are due to osteoarthritis2c
- 60% of hip and 57% of knee replacement operations in the UK are performed on women2d
Arthritis and diet:14
- Acidic foods, such as tomatoes, do not cause arthritis
- Antioxidants, such as vitamin E, are effective in reducing pain and inflammation
- Omega 3 fatty acids also produce an anti-inflammatory process in the body
- Low fat and fat-free diets reduce antioxidant levels, which can aggravate rheumatoid arthritis
- Prolonged consumption of Omega 6 fatty acids may lead to arthritic flare ups
- Weight loss, if overweight or obese, can also reduce joint inflammation and arthritic flare ups
- Arthritis sufferers should eat a balanced diet, high in omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants and with sufficient lean dairy and protein.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prevalence of Doctor-Diagnosed Arthritis and Arthritis-Attributable Activity Limitation — United States, 2007–2009. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). 8 October 2010.
2. Arthritis Research UK. Arthritis in the UK — key facts. November 2008.
3. Arthritis Foundation. 10 Facts About Arthritis. 2012. Available at: http://www.arthritis.org/10-facts-about-arthritis.php Last accessed: 26-09-2012
4. du Plooy, M. Data on file — supplied in response to interview questions. 26-09-2012.
9. Myasoedova E, Crowson C et al. Is the Incidence of Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising? ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATISM
Vol. 62, No. 6, June 2010, pp 1576–1582
10. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Rheumatoid Arthritis. Available at:
http://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/about.htm. Last accessed: 17-05-2012
11. Arthritis Foundation. Osteoarthritis Fact Sheet. 2009.
12. Arthritis Foundation. Rheumatoid Arthritis Fact Sheet. 2008.
13. Arthritis Research UK. Arthritis in the UK — key facts. November 2008.
14. Retief, I. Data on file — supplied in response to interview questions. 20-09-2012.
Arthritis patients need to exercise more
Exercise and arthritis