CDC: Arthritis Common Throughout U.S.
Arthritis Is Likely to Become Even More Common as U.S. Population Ages
May 4, 2006 -- Anywhere you go in the U.S., there are plenty of people with
arthritis, and their
ranks are likely to grow as America ages.
So says a study in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The study is based on the 2003 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
(BRFSS) survey of adults in every state, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto
Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The annual survey included 264,684 randomly chosen civilian adults who were
not living in institutions. Participants took the survey by telephone.
The survey covered various health topics. One of the questions was,
"Have you ever been told by a doctor or other health professional that you
have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid
arthritis, gout,lupus, or fibromyalgia?"
The percentage of people in each state who answered "yes" to that
question ranged from nearly 18% in Hawaii to about 37% in West Virginia, with a
state average of 27%, or more than a quarter of all adults.
In every area of the U.S. and its territories, women reported arthritis
diagnoses more commonly than men; adults aged 65 and older reported arthritis
diagnoses more commonly than younger adults.
Participants were also asked if they were limited "in any way in any of
their usual activities because of arthritis or joint symptoms." Of people
who reported arthritis diagnoses, 30% to nearly 50% answered "yes" to
People in southern states were most likely to report limited activity caused
by arthritis or joint symptoms, the study shows.
The CDC predicts that arthritis and activity limitations attributed to
arthritis will increase as the U.S. population ages.
Physical activity can help prevent or reduce arthritis-attributable activity
limits, but other studies have shown that 44% of adults with arthritis are
inactive, states the CDC.