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The Times today featured a letter to editor which reports that Arthritis Research UK is calling for arthritis to be recognised for what it is: a public health priority and a significant problem facing the UK. Our call to action has been signed by 16 notable people, including BBC journalist and broadcaster Julian Worricker, actress Sally Hawkins, Caroline Lucas MP, Paralympic athlete Pamela Relph and Professor Luke O’Neill from Trinity College, Dublin. Read the letter in full below:
Arthritis affects over 10 million people and is the number one cause of disability in the UK. Four in five of those who have arthritis describe it as a debilitating life condition and over half feel they are a nuisance to loved ones.
What’s more, arthritis-related conditions cause over 30 million sick days every year. A quarter of people with the condition give up work or retire early.
New research shows that rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, two of the most common types of arthritis, currently cost the economy £2.6 billion annually, a figure which is set to rise to £4.7 billion by 2050.
Despite this, the impact of arthritis is invisible - the condition is dismissed as simple aches and pains or even an inevitable and acceptable part of getting older.
If we don’t change how arthritis is currently perceived and acknowledge its impact, we will continue to lose out.
We are calling for arthritis to be recognised for what it is - a public health priority and a significant problem facing the UK, alongside, for example, obesity. Only then can we create the change that is needed in our communities, workplaces and people’s lives to enable us to overcome a problem which is, ultimately, affecting us all.
Liam O’Toole, CEO, Arthritis Research UK
Julian Worricker, Journalist and Broadcaster, BBC
Sally Hawkins, Oscar-nominated actress
Caroline Lucas, MP and Leader Green Party
Doctor Sarah Jarvis, GP and Media Medic
Gyles Brandreth, Writer, Broadcaster and former MP
Pamela Relph, Paralympic athlete
Ian Cass, CEO, Forum for Private Business
Damian Hopley, CEO, Rugby Players Association
Sarah Weir, CEO, Design Council
Paul McManus, CEO, Music For All
Nana Akua, presenter, BBC Three Counties radio
Steven Ward, CEO, UK Active
Professor Luke O’Neill, Trinity College Dublin
Ali Rivett, Chief Executive, British Society for Rheumatology
Professor Janet Darbyshire, University College London
Original Article: Cost of arthritisNEXT ARTICLE
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