1. Arthritis affects women more than men
According to The Arthritis Society, some 2.9 million Canadian women are believed to suffer from some type of arthritis and the number is expected to reach 3.9 million by 2026-nearly twice the number of men. Theories abound, ranging from the belief that women’s weaker cartilage and tendons are the cause, right up to a link with estrogen. All are unproven, but the statistics are undeniable. For example:
• Osteoarthritis affects 3,000,000 (or one in 10) Canadians, with twice as many women suffering from the disease as men, according to the Arthritis Community Research & Evaluation Unit. Most OA sufferers develop the condition after 45, but it can strike at any age.
• Rheumatoid Arthritis affects 300,000 (or one in 100) Canadians and affects three times as many women as men. Most RA sufferers develop the condition between the ages of 25 and 30, but it can strike anyone, from babies to the elderly.
• Lupus (systematic lupus erythematosus, AKA SLE) affects 15,000 ( or one in 2,000) Canadians. Women develop lupus eight to 10 times as often as men, usually between the ages of 15 and 45. But the disease can strike at any time from babyhood to old age.
• Polymyalgia affects 300,000 (or one in 100) Canadians and three times as many women as men. Most develop the disease between 25 and 50, but it can strike any time.