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House of Commons Hansard
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23 March 2010
Volume 508
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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of people (a) living with and (b) diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in England in the latest period for which figures are available. [323220]

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The Department has not made a specific estimate of the number of people living with and diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

However, there are various estimates of the number of people living with rheumatoid arthritis and those diagnosed with the disease. These estimates suggest that the number of people ranges between 400,000 and 580,000, and between 12,000 and 26,000 being diagnosed each year. For example, the National Audit Office report ‘Services for People with Rheumatoid Arthritis’ estimates that 580,000 adults have rheumatoid arthritis, with approximately 26,000 new diagnoses each year. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence clinical guidance on the management of rheumatoid arthritis in adults, published in February 2009, estimates prevalence of 400,000 and annual incidence of 12,000.

The variation in estimates reflect the different data sources used to calculate incidence and prevalence.