Over 600,000 British Columbians are affected by arthritis, which can make even day-to-day tasks painful.
Today, Health Minister Terry Lake announced $3 million in funding to the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada that will further developments in prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
“With this investment, our government aims to help the Arthritis Research Centre continue to improve the lives of British Columbians living with arthritis, as well as reduce the burden arthritis puts on our health-care system,” said Lake.
With over 100 different forms of arthritis, and as a leading cause of disability, the impact on the Canadian economy is estimated to be $33 billion each year in health-care costs and lost productivity.
“Many people aren’t aware arthritis can be a debilitating chronic condition that affects people of all ages, from children to the elderly,” said Dr. John Esdaile, scientific director of the Arthritis Research Centre. “With further research into this complex illness, we can work to prevent arthritis, as well reduce work disability, improve pain management, and address the special needs of arthritis patients in the province.”
Though osteoarthritis is the most widely recognized form of the condition, arthritis can range from mild forms of tendinitis and bursitis to crippling systemic disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis. It also includes pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia and diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus.
“Arthritis Research Centre scientists address and answer questions that are meaningful in enabling patients to keep moving, working, playing and contributing to life in B.C.,” said Alison Hoens, arthritis patient.
The Ministry of Health’s HealthLink BC website provides information and resources for arthritis patients and their families. The ministry also supports programs to help British Columbians get active, eat healthy and quit smoking, so they may avoid chronic diseases like arthritis.
The Arthritis Research Centre of Canada (ARC) was created in 2000 in recognition of the significant impact research could have on arthritis treatment in Canada. ARC is a patient-oriented research centre, conducting clinical research and trials related to arthritis prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, and quality of life issues.
For information on specific forms of arthritis, visit HealthLink BC’s Health Topics and search for ‘arthritis’ at: www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthtopics
For more information on the work of the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada, visit: www.arthritisresearch.ca
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)