Many Canadians with Arthritis Lack Care

TORONTO, July 9 (UPI) — Canadian researchers say many in Ontario with rheumatoid arthritis are not getting specialty care.

Researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital, the Institute for Clinical and Evaluative Sciences, and Women’s College Hospital, all in Toronto, say nearly 60 percent of patients with rheumatoid arthritis in Ontario had not seen a specialist in the last year. Also, women of child-bearing age are less likely to see a specialist than women who were 45 or older.

“People think the aches and pains associated with arthritis are a normal part of aging, leading to delays in seeking care,” researcher Dr. Gillian Hawker says in a statement.

However, Hawker warns, early diagnosis and treatment, especially within the first three to six months, is critical to preventing rheumatoid arthritis from causing long-term disability.

Hawker is senior author of the latest chapter of the Project for an Ontario Women’s Health Evidence-Based Report study, which is available to policymakers and healthcare providers.

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