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How good is your health system?

Competition drives motivation and your health system is no different. Within Canada, there are comparative differences in climate and lifestyle across different provinces and territories. We have all heard that Vancouverites love to wear Lululemon and are more laid-back and Torontonians, being one of the financial hubs of Canada, are workaholics. Besides these fun and personalized comparisons, there should be data that address major issues like health, education, and politics. The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) has created just that for health – a new web tool titled Your Health System.

Your Health System provides the big picture for your health system. The tool allows visitors to compare between different city, province, region, territory, and hospital. Five themes were considered to be the most important:

  1. Access – Can you get the health services you need when you need them?
  2. Quality of care – How good is the care you are receiving, and is it safe?
  3. Spending – How much do the health services you use cost the system?
  4. Health promotion and disease prevention – How well is the system working to help you stay healthy and avoid getting sick?
  5. Health outcomes – Are Canadians actually getting healthier?

The following images are one of many data related to arthritis:

Specialist Data

Captured from Your Health System

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ROAR 2014: Joint Involvement – Hips-Knees-Hands-Feet

ROAR 2014: Joint Involvement – Hips-Knees-Hands-Feet

ROAR postcardJoin us at an interactive public forum hosted by the Arthritis Patient Advisory Board of the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada.

Patients, researchers and healthcare providers will be discussing the latest research on quality hip and knee replacement rehabilitation, bone changes in early rheumatoid arthritis and more.

What is ROAR?

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The NIH has awarded $6 million to arthritis research

AMP Program Word CloudThe National Institute of Health (NIH) has awarded 11 grants (a total of $6 million) to members of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus (AMP RA/Lupus) Network. The alliance includes various private and public research groups across the United States who are committed to advance research on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and lupus drugs.

AMP RA/Lupus hope to identify and test biologic agents for RA and lupus treatment. Researchers believe that the disease similarities for RA and lupus will allow them to study both diseases at the same time.

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Personality traits that protect against arthritis

According to a recent research study, two personality traits can protect against diseases like arthritis, stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure. The “Personality Traits Predict the Onset of Disease” study was published in the journal of Social Psychology and Personality Science last week.

Neon sign of human head

Picture from the University of St. Andrews

The study was led by Josh Jackson of Washington University in St. Louis. Jackson and his team of researchers monitored 7,000 U.S. adults aged 30-90. At the beginning of the study, participants completed a personality questionnaire and declared any preexisting health conditions they may have, including heart disease and cancer. Researchers rated participants according to the Big Five personality traits.

The Big Five, also known as the Five-Factor Model of Personality, is a set of five broad trait dimensions: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism (emotional stability), and openness to experience (intellect). In the journal titled “Five-Factor Model of Personality”, the authors provide the following definitions: Continue reading

Do you have arthritis in your knee?

knee xrayOsteoarthritis is a form of arthritis that can affect any joint, but the hands and weight-bearing joints – including the spine, hips and knees – are most often affected. This type of arthritis is commonly known as wear and tear arthritis, a disease that involves the wear and tear of the natural cushioning lining the joints. A common form of osteoarthritis is knee arthritis. Do you know what the symptoms of knee arthritis are? Below are some warning signs of knee arthritis.

1. Gradual increase in knee pain

Arthritis pain in the knees does not occur overnight, but slowly and gradually. You experience pain in your knees when you climb stairs, stand, kneel, or even sit down. If your knee pain is preventing you from a good night’s sleep, be weary that it could be arthritis.

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Exploring food choices: Fruits and Veggies

The Fall season is great for exploring food choices. With seasonal holidays like Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas, it is easy to fall off the healthy eating wagon while creating the perfect holiday dish. Here are some fun facts to consider before you prep your next meal.

Bell PeppersBell Peppers

In a recent article on WebMD, it is noted that scientists define fruit as the part of a plant that develops from a flower and has seeds. It means that bell peppers, squash, cucumbers and pumpkins are considered fruits. Did you also know that one green pepper contains 176 percent of your daily needs for vitamin C? Red and yellow peppers can double that number. A citrus fruit, like the orange, contains just 75 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement. Sweet peppers are also rich sources of vitamin B6 and folate.


Bananas are berries because it is a fruit that develops from a single flower and a single ovary (the female part of a flower). In a similar fashion, grapes and kiwis are also berries. Bananas are rich in potassium and the arthritis-fighting vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin C. They are also a source of soluble fiber, which helps you lose weight by making you feel full without adding calories.


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