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


is a procedure for adjusting rates (e.g. death rate, prevalence rate) designed to minimize the effects of differences in age composition when comparing rates for different populations. The same procedure can be applied to minimize the effects of differences in sex composition or other appropriate variables.
Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS): 
is inflammatory arthritis of the spine. Causes pain and stiffness in the back and bent posture. In most cases, the disease is characterized by acute painful episodes and remissions. Disease severity varies widely among individuals.
is a term used to describe more than 100 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints, the tissues that surround the joints, and other connective tissues. Most of these conditions are characterized by pain, stiffness and swelling in and around joints or elsewhere in the musculoskeletal system. They can affect the structure and functioning of the joints, leading to increased pain and disability in performing everyday tasks and activities.
means scoping or looking into a joint by means of a miniature telescope called an arthroscope.
is a surgical procedure in which an artificial joint replaces a damaged joint, usually a hip, knee, shoulder or ankle.
Body Mass Index (BMI): 
is a measure of human body size and proportion. It is defined as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. It is a standard measure used for the purpose of detecting overweight and obesity. According to the World Health Organization International Standards, individuals are considered underweight if they have a BMI ≤18 and a BMI between 19 and 24.9 indicates normal weight. Individuals are considered overweight if they have a BMI between 25 to 29.9 and obese if they have a BMI ≥ 30.
Case definition: 
is a set of criteria that must be fulfilled in order to identify a person as representing a case of a particular disease. Case definitions can be based on geographic, clinical, laboratory, or a combination of those criteria, that match the features of a disease.
Childhood arthritis or Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA): 
is a rare chronic condition of children and adolescents. Although rarely fatal, JIA is long-term and associated with serious physical disability.
Direct costs: 
refer to the value of those goods and services for which a payment was made or resources were used in the treatment, care or rehabilitation related to illness or injury. Direct costs comprised expenditures on hospital care (public and private), physician care (all fee-for service and alternative payment plans) and drugs (publicly and privately prescribed and non-prescribed products), as well as expenditures for care in other institutions and additional direct health expenditures (such as other professionals, other health spending, capital and public health and administration).
according to the World Health organization, disability covers a spectrum of various levels of functioning at the body level (impairments in body functions and structures), person level (limitations in activity) and societal level (participation restrictions). Disability therefore involves dysfunctioning at one or more of these levels: impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions.
Drug expenditures: 
included both public and private expenditures for prescribed drugs and non-prescribed products, but did not include expenditures associated with drugs dispensed in hospitals and other institutions.
is a type of arthritis caused by too much uric acid in the body that is not adequately flushed out by the kidneys. It most often affects the big toe but can also affect the ankle, knee, foot, hand, wrist or elbow. Gout is often characterized by painful flareups lasting days or weeks followed by long periods without symptoms.
Hospital care expenditures: 
comprised all hospital expenditures for public and private hospitals in Canada regardless of service type. These expenditures also included costs incurred within hospitals, such as drugs dispensed in hospitals, therapeutic and diagnostic outpatient costs, administrative costs, and some research and research in-kind costs.
International Classification of Disease, 9 thedition.
International Classification of Disease, 10 th edition.
is the number of instances of an illness commencing, or of persons falling ill, during a given period in a specified population. More generally, it is the number of new health-related events in a defined population within a specified period of time. It may be measured as a frequency count, a rate, or a proportion.
Indirect costs: 
refer to the value of economic output lost as a result of illness, injury or premature death. They are comprised of the lost production attributable to disability (morbidity costs) and the lost production associated with premature death (mortality costs). Disability measures the value of activity days lost due to short-term (duration six months or less) and longterm (duration greater than six months) disability.
Long term disability: 
Individuals with long-term disabilities were defined as those who experienced a period of restricted activity for six months or more or who were residents of health institutions.
is any departure, subjective or objective, from a state of physiological or psychological wellbeing.
Mortality rate: 
is an estimate of the portion of a population that dies during a specified period.
are diseases that affect muscles connected to bone (i.e., skeletal muscles) and can be caused by inherited genetic defects (e.g., muscular dystrophies), endocrine, inflammatory (e.g., derma- tomyositis, polymyositis), and metabolic disorders.
Osteoarthritis (OA): 
results from the deterioration of the cartilage in one or more joints. It leads to joint damage, pain, and stiffness. OA typically affects the hands, feet, knees, spine and hips. It is the most common type of arthritis.
is a surgical operation whereby a bone is cut to shorten, lengthen, or change its alignment.
Physical activity: 
is defined according to the total daily Energy Expenditure values (kcal/kg/day) expended during leisure time activities. Energy Expenditure is calculated using the frequency and duration per session of the physical activity as well as the MET value of the activity. The MET is a value of metabolic energy cost expressed as a multiple of the resting metabolic rate. Respondents are categorized as being "active" (≥ 3 MET), "moderate" (1.5 to < 3 METs) or "inactive" (0 to < 1.5 METs) based on their total daily energy expenditure value.
Physician care expenditures: 
comprised all fee-for- service payments made by provincial/territorial medical care insurance plans to physicians in private practice as well as payments made through alternative payment plans (i.e. other forms of physician reimbursement such as salaries, sessional fees and capi- tation). They did not, however, include expenditures for non-traditional practitioners and other health care professionals. Nor did they include hospital-based physician care expenditures, which were included in the Hospital Care Expenditures component.
Premature death: 
refers to a death occurring before the age of 75.
is a measure of the occurrence or disease frequency often used to refer to the proportion of individuals in a population who have a disease or condition.
Population projections: 
are estimates of total size or composition of populations in the future. Based on the most recent Census data, Statistics Canada's population projections for the years 2007–2031, provide a means for estimating the prevalence of arthritis and the number of people with arthritis over the next 25 years. Statistics Canada provides three population growth scenarios: "high", "medium" and "low" growth. Population figures used for this report are based on the "medium" scenario, which assumes medium growth projections and medium rates of fertility, life expectancy, immigration and inter- provincial migration. This medium growth scenario combines assumptions of fertility and immigration similar to recent years along with moderate growth in life expectancy. Medium growth scenarios are typically used for projecting prevalence and number estimates for arthritis. The projected arthritis estimates presented in chapter 1 are based on the most recent age- and sex-specific arthritis prevalence estimates from the 2007 CCHS, Cycle 4.1. Projections assume that age- and sex-specific arthritis prevalence estimates remain the same over time. This particular assumption was used to maintain consistency with previous reports and does not take into account trends in obesity or other factors that might cause arthritis.
Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA): 
causes swelling and pain in the joints. It most often affects the wrists, knees, ankles, fingers and toes, and it can also affect the back. PsA is linked to psoriasis, a disorder causing areas of the skin to become inflamed and covered with silvery or grey scales.
Public health surveillance: 
is the tracking and forecasting of any health event or health determinant through the continuous collection of high-quality data; the integration, analysis and interpretation of data into surveillance products (such as reports, advisories, warnings); and the dissemination of these products for a specific public health purpose or policy objective.
Quality of life: 
refers to the physical, psychological, and social domains of health, seen as distinct areas that are influenced by a person's experiences, beliefs, expectations, and perceptions.
is an expression of the frequency with which an event occurs in a defined population. A rate is composed of a numerator and a denominator.
Reactive Arthritis (ReA) or Reiter's disease: 
is an autoimmune condition that develops in response to an infection in another part of the body.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): 
is an inflammatory disease caused by the body's immune system attacking the body's joints (primarily hands and feet). This leads to pain, inflammation and joint damage. RA may also involve other organ systems such as eyes, heart, and lungs. RA is the second most common type of arthritis.
there are two types, localised which affects mainly the skin and can involve muscles and joints and there is generalized scleroderma that affects the skin as well as the internal organs.
Self management: 
refers to the tasks that a person must undertake in order to live well with one or more chronic conditions.
Short-term disability: 
Individuals with short-term disabilities were defined as those who experience restricted activity that lasted for a period of less than six months. Short-term disability costs were available for all musculoskeletal diseases combined but could not be calculated specifically for arthritis. As a result, they are not included in the figures, causing the underestimation of the indirect and total costs attributed to arthritis.
Sjögren's syndrome: 
is a chronic disorder that causes damage to the salivary glands, resulting in dry mouth, and the tear glands, resulting in dry eyes. It can also affect other parts of the body including joints, muscles and nerves, organs, or glands.
is the medical term for inflammation of a synovial membrane, which lines those joints which possess cavities, namely synovial joints. The condition is usually painful, particularly when the joint is moved. The joint usually swells due to fluid collection.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE): 
is a connective tissue disorder causing skin rashes, joint and muscle swelling and pain. It may also affect the organs. The symptoms of this disease fluctuates over time i.e., flare-ups and periods of remission. SLE is rare but can be very disabling.
Traumatic arthritis: 
is a form of arthritis that is caused from blunt, penetrating, or repeated trauma or from forced inappropriate motion of a joint or ligament.
refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders that are characterized by inflammatory destruction of blood vessels - both arteries and veins are affected.
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: