The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence clinical guidelines on osteoarthritis (CG177) and rheumatoid arthritis (CG79) both provide estimates of total costs of these conditions.
In the osteoarthritis guideline the costs are presented as follows:
“In 1999-2000, 36 million working days were lost due to osteoarthritis alone, at an estimated cost of £3.2 billion in lost production. At the same time, £43 million was spent on community services and £215 million were spent on social services due to osteoarthritis. In 2000, over 44,000 hip replacements and over 35,000 knee replacements were performed at a cost of £405 million.”
In the rheumatoid arthritis guideline the costs are presented as follows:
“Approximately one third of patients cease work because of the disease within two years of onset, and this prevalence increases thereafter. The total costs of RA in the UK, including indirect costs and work related disability, have been estimated at between £3.8 billion and £4.75 billion per year.”