Canadians with inflammatory arthritis feel that their disease interferes with their overall happiness and ability to participate in daily activities, according to a recent survey by healthcare company Abbott Canada. The company surveyed 3,000 Canadians living with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.

Survey respondents indicated that their illness has affected their productivity level at work and home, with 48% stating that it prevents them from working full-time hours.

As well, 73% said their illness affects their daily activities at home or at work, 42% said their illness interferes with hobbies or recreational activities and 67% said they’re unable to enjoy the same activities they once did.

“When most people think of arthritis, it is osteoarthritis that comes to mind. It is critically important to shed light on inflammatory arthritis and the dramatic effect it has on people’s lives,” says Dr. Carter Thorne, a rheumatologist in Newmarket, Ont.

“Inflammatory arthritis can strike at any age—most people don’t realize that even children as young as 18 months can be hit with arthritis. People with these conditions often wait a significant period of time before they are diagnosed, and many come to just accept that pain and restricted activity are a part of their lives. But with the advances we have made in treatment in the past decade, that doesn’t need to be the case. We now have the ability to help people with inflammatory arthritis get back to living life and being productive.”

Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions currently affect nearly 4.5 million Canadians, with arthritis being among the top three most common chronic diseases in Canada, according to 2010 statistics from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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