Osteoarthritis cases set to double9th May 2012
A report by the charity Arthritis Care has warned that the number of people in Britain who suffer from osteoarthritis could double by 2030.
The report said obesity and the growing older population could cause a "tsunami of pain" and added that the government needed to make preparations to deal with the problem.
It has been estimated that in 20 years more than 50% of the population will be aged 50 or over, and around the same proportion will be obese.
The OANation 2012 report said 8.5 million people in the UK have the condition and seven in 10 of sufferers suffer from chronic pain.
The report, which examined the results of a poll of 2,000 patients, found a fifth of people with osteoarthritis had to give up work or take early retirement.
Judith Brodie, CEO of Arthritis Care, said: "The individual, economic and societal burden of OA is already enormous, but with an ageing and increasingly obese population the future is looking bleak. We need policy-makers and professionals to...implement robust and meaningful strategies to address how OA is treated and managed across the UK and to improve health services."
Liam O'Toole of Arthritis Research UK said: "The increasing burden of osteoarthritis is exactly the reason we have continued to increase our research funding into this disease over the last few years."
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