Despite the lack of scientific proof, stem cell therapy is becoming increasingly popular, with dozens of clinics open across Canada and hundreds in the United States. These clinics are offering treatment for a wide range of diseases including asthma, multiple sclerosis, crohn’s, osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis. A recent study found that Canadian businesses are making strong and unproven claims about the benefits of stem cell therapy. Advertisements intentionally use scientific language which can mislead consumers into thinking they are science-based therapies. While there are credible facilities that do stem cell transplants for conditions such as cancers of the blood, there isn’t sufficient research to support the safety and efficacy for treating other diseases such as osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis. As stated by researcher Leigh Turner on CTV news, “you have a lot of companies and clinics setting up shop and there’s this pretty big gap between the marketing claims they make and the current state of stem cell research.” A different article exploring the boom of stem cell clinics in America, found that advertisements use patient testimonial to appeal to consumers, which may just be a result of the placebo effect.
ACE is reporting from this week’s American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals 2018 Annual Meeting. Here are some presentations that are important for arthritis patients.
The future of arthritis care and the next generation of arthritis specialists
The Arthritis Alliance of Canada has looked carefully at how patients with arthritis receive timely diagnosis and treatment. Central to ensuring timely care is making sure there are adequate numbers of rheumatologists for making an early diagnosis and starting appropriate treatment. In 2015, the Canadian Rheumatology Association conducted a national workforce survey of rheumatologists across Canada. The survey found there is a current shortage of rheumatologists across the country that may worsen over the next 10 years because a third of the workforce reported plans to retire in the near future. This will occur at the same time as an expected increase in the number of arthritis patients within the next generation.
ACE is attending this week’s American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals 2018 Annual Meeting, the largest international gathering of arthritis researchers, clinicians, academics, patient advocates and arthritis health professionals. Here are some of today’s highlights:
Improving osteoarthritis management
There are currently more than 4.4 million Canadians living with osteoarthritis (OA). Within a generation (in 30 years), more than 10 million (or one in four) Canadians are expected to have OA. A 2017 study, “Productivity costs of work loss associated with osteoarthritis in Canada from 2010 to 2013,” found the rising rates of OA will cost the Canadian economy an estimated $17.5 billion a year in lost productivity by 2031 as the disease forces greater numbers of people to stop working or work less.
ACE and other members of the Arthritis Alliance of Canada have helped raise awareness with health care policy makers that OA is the leading cause of disability in older adults. One of Canada’s leading osteoarthritis researchers, Dr. Gillian Hawker, Sir John and Lady Eaton Professor and Chair of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto has stated: “the highest rates of OA are increasing fastest among young people (20-59 years), due largely to childhood obesity and knee injury. While effective therapies exist, the high prevalence of comorbidity in people with OA makes management challenging (as many of 90% of people with OA have at least one additional chronic condition – most often diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure).”
More than 15,000 clinicians, researchers, academics, patient advocates and arthritis health professionals from more than 100 countries are expected to gather at the American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals 2018 Annual Meeting over the next six days in Chicago to exchange scientific and clinical information.
This year’s ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting will include 450 educational sessions. More than 700 speakers hailing from more than 20 countries will present as many as 3,000 abstracts to gain firsthand knowledge and access to new scientific and clinical findings.
Session topics will include newly proposed treatments for systemic lupus erythematosus and osteoarthritis, updated classification criteria for large vessel vasculitis and a look at current controversies regarding arthritis diseases and bone.
How Arthritis Impacts Lives – #MyWorldWithArthritis
Arthritis affects an estimated 6 million people in Canada and 54 million in the United States; it can significantly impact daily activities, work, relationships, school and the way people see themselves. With over 100 types of arthritis affecting people of all ages, the patient community is incredibly diverse and so are their experiences.
For World Arthritis Day, we asked our subscribers: “How has arthritis changed your world?”. Our aim was to bring attention to the prevalence of the disease and the different ways that it can impact the lives of individuals. In just a few days, we received 36 responses!
Thank you to everyone who generously shared their stories with us, your participation has helped spread awareness about the seriousness of arthritis and shown others living with the disease that they are not alone.
You can find all of the quotes we received below. To learn more about arthritis, please visit Arthritis Consumer Experts’ Disease Spotlights section.
En conclusion de sa quatrième recherche annuelle partout au Canada, le comité ACE (Arthritis Consumer Experts) dévoile aujourd’hui les gagnants d’un prix Meilleurs milieux de travail au Canada pour les employés atteints d’arthrite : le Gouvernement du Yukon et l’Université de Montréal.
Le comité ACE appuie sans réserve les efforts des employeurs canadiens dans l’établissement de politiques assurant un niveau d’avantages de grande qualité et des conditions de travail flexibles pour les employés atteints d’arthrite au Canada. Pour les employés atteints de maladies chroniques telles que l’arthrite, le combat implique également de concilier au quotidien les exigences liées à gestion de leur maladie avec celles d’un travail « accompagné » de symptômes comme la douleur, la fatigue, le dysfonctionnement articulaire et l’immobilité.
« Au Canada, l’arthrite et les maladies musculosquelettiques constituent la principale cause d’incapacité au travail », affirme Cheryl Koehn, présidente et fondatrice du comité ACE (Arthritis Consumer Experts). « Pour les employés atteints d’arthrite, gérer les défis au travail est un élément important de la gestion efficace de leur maladie. Nous invitons tous les promoteurs canadiens à examiner attentivement leur régime de soins de santé en fonction de la perspective des employés atteints d’arthrite. »
After its fourth annual search across Canada, Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) today announced the winners of Canada’s Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis award: the Government of Yukon and Université de Montréal.
ACE is highly supportive of Canadian employers’ efforts to develop policies to ensure high quality health benefits and flexible work arrangements for Canadian workers living with arthritis. For workers with chronic diseases such as arthritis, the challenge involves balancing the demands of managing their disease and of working ‘around’ symptoms such as daily pain, fatigue, joint dysfunction and immobility.
“Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions are the leading cause of work disability in Canada,” said Cheryl Koehn, Founder and President, Arthritis Consumer Experts. “Managing challenges at work is an important element of disease management for employees living with arthritis. We’re calling on all plan sponsors in Canada to look carefully at their health benefit plans from the perspective of employees living with arthritis.”
Based on workplace insights shared by employees and company managers, the Government of Yukon and Université de Montréal stood out for their supportive work environments highlighted by chronic disease awareness, high quality benefits, wellness programs and prevention practices.
“Supporting all our employees to fully participate in the workplace makes for a more engaged workforce and ultimately better service to the Yukon public. That is why the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees is of paramount importance. We provide flexible working hours, a robust benefits program, and workplace accommodations to help our employees safely stay at work and maintain a healthy work-life balance,” said Ms. Pamela Muir, Public Service Commissioner, the Government of Yukon.
Positive mental health is the capacity of people to feel, think, and act in ways that enhance the ability to enjoy life and deal with challenges, such as living with arthritis. Having a strong social support network can help. Continue reading below to learn the relationship between depression and arthritis and ways to help avoid and alleviate depression.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 54.4 million (22.7%) adults in the United States have doctor-diagnosed arthritis – approximately one-third of them report having anxiety or depression, with anxiety more common than depression.
According to a recent National Health Interview Survey, in adults with arthritis, the prevalence of anxiety is 22.5% and the prevalence of depression is 12.1%. This estimates to about two-thirds higher than those living without arthritis or 10.3 million arthritis patients with symptoms of anxiety or depression – 4.9 million had anxiety only, 1.3 million had depression only, and 4.1 million had symptoms of both anxiety and depression.
The survey also found that anxiety and depression were more common for people who: Continue reading
En cette Journée mondiale de l’arthrite, partagez votre déclaration d’impact : Comment l’arthrite a-t-elle changé votre monde ? #MyWorldWithArthritis
Le 12 octobre est la Journée mondiale de l’arthrite. Partagez votre expérience de vie avec l’arthrite au quotidien pour que toutes les personnes qui se battent contre l’arthrite sachent qu’elles ne sont pas seules.
Selon les estimations, l’arthrite affecte environ 6 millions de personnes au Canada et 54 millions aux États-Unis. L’arthrite peut avoir un impact considérable sur les activités quotidiennes, le travail, les relations, l’école et la perception que les gens ont d’eux-mêmes. Avec plus d’une centaine de formes d’arthrite affectant des gens de tous âges, la collectivité des patients arthritiques, et les expériences, sont incroyablement diversifiées.
La campagne #MyWorldWithArthritis