Skip navigation
Browser upgrade notice

Arthritis and Related Conditions within Ontario Emergency Departments

The purpose of this research was to examine the patterns of emergency department use by Ontarians with arthritis and related conditions by age, sex and geography, for the purpose of service planning and enhancement. Analyses of data from National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS) were conducted for three fiscal years 2001/02, 2002/03 and 2003/04. This research showed that 165,000 Ontarians visited an emergency department due to arthritis and related conditions in 2003 which is equivalent to 13.4 arthritis-related visits per 1,000 Ontarians per year. Arthritis-related emergency department visits increase with age, but the majority of visits is made by working-age individuals. More women than men visit emergency departments for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and more men than women visit for gout. In addition, areas with low provision of specialist services, such as rheumatologists and orthopaedic surgeons, tend to have the highest rates of arthritis related emergency department visits per capita. These findings suggest that strategies should be considered to improve community health and to reduce the strain on emergency department services.

This project is funded through the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Researchers: Jeanette Tyas, Crystal MacKay, Dr. Elizabeth Badley

Related Reports & Publications

  • Tyas J, MacKay C, Badley EM. Arthritis and related conditions within Ontario emergency departments. Arthritis Community Research & Evaluation Unit (ACREU). Working Paper (06-3), 2006. PDF document