Fast facts

  • 3.9 million Australians have arthritis. That’s 1 in 6 people.
  • By 2030, it is projected there will be 5.4 million Australians with arthritis.
  • Around 2 million people with arthritis are of working age (15-64 years)
  • Arthritis cost the health system $5.5 billion in 2015. This will rise to $7.6 billion by 2030.
  • Arthritis accounts for 8% of the total burden of disease and injury in Australia
  • Children get arthritis too
  • Arthritis is the leading cause of chronic pain and the second most common cause of disability and early retirement due to ill health in Australia.
  • 52,000 people (aged 15-64 years) unable to work due to arthritis
  • Extra welfare costs and lost tax revenue due to early retirement due to arthritis cost $1.1 billion in 2015
  • There are more than 100 different types of arthritis
  • Most forms of arthritis are thought to be auto-immune conditions, where the body’s immune system attacks its own joint tissues
  • Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout are the most common forms of arthritis
  • We do know you’ve got to move it or lose it; rest can make pain and other symptoms much worse.

There’s no cure… yet, but there’s a lot that can be done and with your help we can make life for people with arthritis a whole lot better!

Ackerman IN, Bohensky MA, Pratt C, Gorelik A, Liew D, 2016. Counting the Cost: the current and future burden of arthritis. Part 1 Healthcare Costs. Arthritis Australia 2016.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2016. Australian Burden of Disease Study: Impact and causes of illness and death in Australia 2011. Australian Burden of Disease Study series no. 3. BOD 4. Canberra: AIHWAustralian Bureau of Statistics 2012. 2009 Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia 2009: Profiles of Disability
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2009. Chronic disease and participation in work. Cat. No. PHE 109. Canberra: AIHW
Schofield D, Shrestha R, Cunich M, 2016. Counting the cost: the current and future burden of arthritis: Part 2 Economic Costs. Arthritis Australia 2016