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Arthritis survey launched in Canada

April 25, 2007

CBC News

Arthritis activists are running an online survey to find out what areas of research into the disease should be priorities.

"The future of arthritis research in Canada is in your hands," the Canadian Arthritis Network (CAN) said in announcing the survey on Wednesday.

"The CAN has only five more years of federal funding left and wants to ensure that it continues to research areas of greatest importance to people living with arthritis," Anne Fouillard, co-chair of the network's consumer advisory council, said in a news release.

"We want millions of people with arthritis, their families and those interested in the disease responding to the survey — it's a key piece in planning the CAN's future," said Fouillard, who has osteoarthritis.

The CAN has benefited from the involvement of people who have arthritis, said Dr. John Esdaile, scientific director and CEO of the agency.

But it's important the research "addresses the needs of Canadians living with the disease and the millions of people who are going to get it over the next three decades."

Arthritis research needs more funding, he said.

About 4.5 million Canadians have the disease, which causes joint inflammation. It's the leading cause of deformity and long-term disability in Canada, but only gets about two per cent of federal health research funding.

Arthritis causes up to 90 per cent of wait lists for joint replacement, and wait times for such replacements exceed all other wait times in Canada, the network said.

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