Rheumatoid arthritis is 75% more prevalent than thought

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is 75% more prevalent than previous estimates have suggested, the National Audit Office (NAO) has concluded.

Awareness of the condition among the public remains low, however, the NAO said in its report into services for people with RA. The DoH should look at the case for a campaign to raise awareness of the condition, the report said.

The NAO estimates that there are 580,000 people with RA in England, with 26,000 new diagnoses each year. This is equivalent to approximately 700,000 cases across the UK, 75% higher than NICE's estimate of 400,000 cases.

The NAO appraised the sources used by NICE and used data from the General Practice Research Database to inform its new estimate.


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