Arthritis Case's Predicted To Reach 17m By 2030
|A new report has said that cases of osteoarthritis in Britain look set to double to over 17 million by 2030.
Published by the charity Arthritis Care the report says the predicted rise is down to the UK's ageing population and growing obesity problem.
Experts estimate that by 2030 over half of the UK population will be aged 50 or older and nearly the same proportion will be obese.
Its report - OANation 2012 - says 8.5 million people in the UK have osteoarthritis and 71% of them, some 6m people, are in constant pain.
Osteoarthritis (OA), the most common form of arthritis affects the joints, causing pain and stiffness and often reduced mobility. It usually develops in people aged over 50, but some are younger. The exact cause is not known, but anything that puts stress and strain on the joints - including obesity - can play a part.
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Judith Brodie, CEO of Arthritis Care, said: "The individual, economic and societal burden of OA is already enormous, but with an ageing and increasingly obese population the future is looking bleak.
"We need policy-makers and professionals to take the condition seriously; to implement robust and meaningful strategies to address how OA is treated and managed across the UK and to improve health services."
Liam O'Toole of Arthritis Research UK welcomed the report, saying: "The increasing burden of osteoarthritis is exactly the reason we have continued to increase our research funding into this disease over the last few years."
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