Arthritis, 2013

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The term ‘arthritis’ describes many conditions that affect joints, the tissue surrounding joints, and other connective tissue. The most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The resulting pain, stiffness, swelling and/or deformity of the joints can substantially reduce quality of life.Note 1

The arthritis data are based on a question in the Canadian Community Health Survey that asked respondents if they had arthritis, excluding fibromyalgia.

In 2013, 15.9% (4.6 million) of Canadians aged 15 and older reported that they had been diagnosed with arthritis by a health professional (Chart 1). Since 2007, the rate of arthritisNote 2 for males has remained the same, with 12.4% reporting the condition in 2013. For females, the rate of arthritis has remained stable since 2007 around 19%, with the exception of 2011 when the rate had increased to 21.2%.Note 3

Chart 1

Description for Chart 1

Among both sexes, the percentage reporting arthritis increased with age, with the highest rates among those aged 75 or older. In 2013, females were more likely than males to have arthritis in all age groups (Chart 2).

Chart 2

Description for Chart 2

QuebecNote 4 was the only province in which residents reported a rate of arthritis (10.1%) that was lower than the national average (15.9%).

The proportion of residents aged 15 years and over who reported that they had arthritis that was higher than the national average in:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador (21.7%)
  • Prince Edward Island (21.0%)
  • Nova Scotia (24.3%)
  • New Brunswick (20.9%)
  • Ontario (17.7%)
  • Manitoba (19.9%)

Residents of the other provinces and the territoriesNote 5 reported rates that were about the same as the national average.

Because of the strong relationship between age and arthritis, a province or territory with a disproportionately younger population would be expected to have an arthritis rate below the national average. Conversely, a province or territory with an older population should have a higher arthritis rate than the national average. To remove the effect of different age distributions when making provincial comparisons, please refer to the CANSIM table 105-0503 for the age standardized rates.

End notes


The Arthritis Society (accessed May 10, 2010).

Wilkins, Kathryn. 2004. “Incident arthritis in relation to excess weight.” Health Reports. Vol. 15, no. 1. Fall. Statistics Canada no. 82-003. p. 39–49. (accessed May 10, 2010).

Wilkins, Kathryn. 1999. “Hormone replacement therapy and incident arthritis.” Health Reports. Vol. 11, no. 2. January. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 49–57. (access May 10, 2010).


Additional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey are available from CANSIM tables 105–0501 and 105-0503.

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