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“2020health is an important and thoughtful contributor to the health debate”

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chairman, Health Select Committee


Daily Mail Toll of work time lost to arthritis: Patients take six times as much time off as their healthy colleagues

- Arthritis sufferers take on average 40 days off work a year
- One in seven patients gives up work within 12 months of a diagnosis
- Three-quarters of all new cases are in people of working age

Arthritis patients take 40 days off work a year – six times as many as their healthy colleagues.

The figure was released by a charity to highlight the impact of the disease.

The British Society for Rheumatology said one in seven patients are forced to give up work altogether a year after diagnosis.

Three-quarters of cases are diagnosed in those of working age.

The NHS estimates that the condition, which causes pain and swelling in the joints, affects 580,000 people across England and Wales.

The Society has launched its Simple Tasks campaign to highlight the effects of rheumatic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Professor Simon Bowman, president of the BSR, said: ‘These diseases are significant, in that they do lead to major effects on people’s lives and they are common and important.’

Meanwhile a new survey by the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society and 2020Health of 2,000 rheumatoid arthritis sufferers found that 89% are suffering from chronic fatigue as well as the better-known symptoms of pain and swelling.

Even though fatigue affects such a large proportion of the sufferers, only half said they had spoken about the issue with their specialist nurse or rheumatologist.

Ailsa Bosworth, chief executive of National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, said: 'Chronic fatigue is clearly being overlooked. If we are to improve levels of public awareness and rates of early diagnosis we must develop better messaging about the symptom of chronic fatigue within awareness campaign materials.

'The survey also highlights concerns about the provision of support to help manage the emotional health aspects of fatigue, so it is clear that further resources urgently need to be put in place to help healthcare professionals deliver improved care.'