Arthritis: the big picture

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Arthritis Research UK
Arthritis Research UK
Date of publication
1 May 2002
Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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At the time of the publication of this report, little was known about how people were affected by arthritis. Arthritis Research UK therefore commissioned two separate studies, one from MORI, and one from our Epidemiology Unit in Manchester, to find out how big the problem really was, and what, if anything, could be done to relieve their suffering.

It was found that arthritis represented a much more serious, significant, and widespread problem than was previously thought. It also showed that almost twice as many people believed they had arthritis than report their condition to their GP. In the MORI poll, 13 million people said they were currently affected by arthritis and joint pain. Yet according to the report by the Epidemiology Unit, this figure was nearer 7 million. The reason for this discrepancy was stated to be down to the difference in the type of survey used.

The costs of arthritis were also investigated. 206 million working days were lost in the UK in 1999-2000 - equivalent to a loss of production of £18 billion. The estimated direct cost to health and social services was £5.5 billion. The cost of prescription costs alone added up to £341 million. Hip and knee replacements cost £405 million.