Preface: Life with arthritis in Canada: a personal and public health challenge

A few words from the Chief Public Health Officer

Dear reader,
I urge everyone in reading this report, Life with Arthritis in Canada: A personal and public health challenge, to identify what can be done within your organization or personally to prevent and reduce the impact of arthritis among Canadians.

Although progress is being made on interventions to reduce the impact of arthritis on Canadians, arthritis remains common, costly, and disabling. More than 4.2 million Canadians live with one or more of the 100 conditions that comprise arthritis. It is one of the leading causes of pain and physical disability in Canada and a major public health challenge. Arthritis may affect one’s daily activities, choice of career, social participation, relationships and family life, and economic status.

Life with Arthritis in Canada: A personal and public health challenge is designed to increase public awareness that arthritis is not simply a normal part of aging and the importance of prevention and timely management.

This report reflects the commitment of the Public Health Agency of Canada and the organizations and individuals which have collaborated on this report to provide the much needed information on arthritis to policy makers, health care providers, volunteers and the public. I would like to thank them for their ongoing commitment to the reduction of the burden of arthritis for all Canadians.

I encourage you to use this report within your areas of interest or expertise to improve the health of Canadians.

Dr. David Butler-Jones
Chief Public Health Officer of Canada

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