It is with sadness that the Arthritis Foundation notes the passing of Dr. Stephen Katz, who presided over the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) as Director of the Institute since 1995.
Since 1996, October 12 is recognized as World Arthritis Day, a global initiative bringing people together to raise awareness of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs). Established by Arthritis and Rheumatism International (ARI) and managed by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR), the aim of World Arthritis Day is not only to raise awareness, but also to influence public policy and inform those living with RMDs as well as their caregivers of the support network available to them.
There are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions accounting for more than $156 billion in lost wages and medical expenses annually with nearly 1 million hospitalizations each year. Arthritis impacts more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children in the U.S. and 120 million people in the European Union, making it the leading cause of disability in the western world.
Arthritis has a Global Impact
- According to EUMUSC.net, in a 2007 EU survey it was found that 22% of the population currently had, or had experienced, long-term muscle, bone and joint problems such as rheumatism and arthritis.
- The prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis varies between 0.3% and 1% and is more common in women as well as in developed countries.
- Within 10 years of onset of rheumatoid arthritis, at least 50% of patients in developed countries are unable to hold down a full-time job.
- Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disorder and accounts for more disability among the elderly than any other disease.
- Many factors increase the risk of developing rheumatic disease, including increasing age, smoking, excessive weight, predisposed genetic factors, occupations with high risk of injury and overuse of joints.
The Arthritis Foundation
The Arthritis Foundation is the Champion of Yes. Leading the fight for the arthritis community, the Arthritis Foundation helps conquer everyday battles through life-changing information and resources, access to optimal care, advancements in science and community connections. Our goal is to chart a winning course, guiding families in developing personalized plans for living a full life – and making each day another stride towards a cure.
This year’s World Arthritis Day theme – “It’s in your hands, take action” – helps increase awareness as we take over the social media world High 5ing for World Arthritis Day. Take a stand! Join us in spreading the word with the hashtag #WADhigh5.
Together, we conquer arthritis!