This year's theme for World Arthritis Day is 'It's in your hands, take action.'
People with rheumatic and musculosceletal diseases (RMDs) are taking action everyday to live their lives to the fullest.
This year, World Arthritis Day is asking people to share their stories about how they have taken action to live their life to the fullest with a rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease (RMD) in order to provide greater education to people both within the RMD community and the general public. You can share your story via social media, using the hashtag #WADStory, or upload your story directly to the World Arthritis Day website
The Future in your hands’ forms part of the wider two-year World Arthritis Day campaign:
'It's in your hands, take action'
- RMDs affect a quarter of all people in the European Union – that’s over 120 million people –
more individuals than any other disease group
- RMDs can affect people of all ages including children and babies and if not treated
appropriately, daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs, cooking and personal hygiene
and working are affected – reducing quality of life and impacting on physical abilities
- The prevalence of clinical anxiety and depression in those with RMDs is about twice that
seen in the general population
Facts and figures
- RMDs affect a quarter of all people in the European Union – over 120 million people
- Almost every family in Europe is affected by RMDs in some way
- In the industrialised world, RMDs affect more individuals than any other disease group
- RMDs affect both men and women of all ages, including children and babies. However, some RMDs are more common among certain populations. For example, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, fibromyalgia, and lupus predominantly affect women. Spondyloarthropathies and gout are more common in men
- RMDs are the biggest cause of sick leave and premature retirement worldwide
- RMDs have a huge economic burden on global healthcare systems. In Europe, public spending totals over €200 billion per year. They are the most expensive diseases for the European health and socio-economic systems. The costs are associated with diagnosis, treatment, drugs, care, assistive devices, home modifications, and research. In addition, decreased productivity and absence from work as a result of RMDs contributes significantly to these costs
- If left untreated, some RMDs may reduce life expectancy