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.