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Related to: Osteoporosis, Ageing Population, Ill Health and Disability

Key Facts:

  • Just over 1000 people are diagnosed with having rheumatoid arthritis by GPs in B&NES
  • Prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis in B&NES is lower than the national average
  • Estimates suggest there are ~2,000 residents in B&NES suffering from severe hip osteoarthritis and ~4,000 with severe knee osteoperosis
  • Rates of osteoperosis locally (all types) are lower than the national figure

Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in joints. In the UK around 10 million people have arthritis, which affects people of all ages. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

What does the data say?

Rheumatoid Arthritis prevalence (QOF)

Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints, commonly affecting the hands, feet and wrists. It is an autoimmune disease and can cause actual damage to the joints, cartilage and nearby bones over time. Risks increase for females, those with a family history of the condition and smokers.

2013/14 data from PHE indicated that approximately 1,100 patients aged 16 and over are diagnosed in B&NES CCG GP practices with rheumatoid arthritis 1. The 2013/14 CCG prevalence is 0.66%, compared to 0.73% for England 2.

Osteoarthritis Prevalence Estimates 3

Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes the joints to become painful and stiff and is the most common type of arthritis in the UK. The severity of symptoms can vary greatly from person to person and the condition commonly affects the knees, hips and small joint of the hands. Osteoarthritis occurs when there is damage in and around the joints at the body cannot fully repair and risk factors are linked to factors such as height and weight.

Modelled estimates (based on modelling risk factors) show (figure 1) that there are approximately 2,150 people resident in B&NES with severe hip osteoarthritis, and 4,041 people resident in B&NES with severe knee osteoarthritis (figures will overlap). 4

Figure 1: Osteoarthritis prevalence rates for B&NES by type and severity

Prevalence is higher for females than males (12.49% compared to 7.34% for hip and 17.43% compared to 14.67% for knee respectively). Rate are also highest for those in lower-supervisory and routine occupations.

Table 1: Osteoarthritis prevalence rates for B&NES and England by type and severity 

Prevalence rates are slightly lower locally for both hip and knee osteoarthritis compared to national rates (table 1)

Note: The data provided is an estimate because it is not presently possible to access the data required to say how many people have a musculoskeletal condition. Most of the treatment for musculoskeletal conditions occurs in primary care and this data is not currently collected by the NHS.