Aussie women’s untold burden – Insights into RA

New international survey uncovers Australian families being denied care due to women struggling with chronic disease1

SYDNEY, Australia, 12 June 2013 

Results from a new international survey conducted among more than 10,000 adults with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 42 countries, including Australia, were presented today to an international audience at the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) conference in Madrid, Spain. The results reveal that Australian women living with RA are significantly overwhelmed and severely restricted in the many aspects of their lives:

  • One in four (25 per cent) are unable to care for their children and grandchildren1
  • Approximately half (46 per cent) are struggling with their relationships1

These findings are  particularly concerning as approximately one in three of the female respondents (35 per cent) were aged between 18-44 years1,  a time when many are considering starting a family or have a young family.

Associate Professor Peter Nash, Department of Medicine, University of Queensland who was instrumental in the development of the survey and presented the findings of Join the Fight Against RA at EULAR, explained RA is the most common chronic inflammatory arthritis in the world.2 In Australia approximately 400,000 people are living with the condition.3

The survey, supported by Arthritis Australia, found Australian women also feel the negative effects of RA more acutely when it comes to financial pressure and achieving their careers:

  • Half of women surveyed (50 per cent) believe they are limited in their ability to work and progress in their careers1
    • Of these women aged 18-49 years 79 per cent reported they have taken time away from work because of their RA1
  • Almost half (47 per cent) of women felt pressured to work when not feeling well1

Read more about results from the survey here.

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