Skip to content

    Arthritis Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    CDC: Arthritis Common Throughout U.S.

    Arthritis Is Likely to Become Even More Common as U.S. Population Ages
    By
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    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.

    Activity Limitations

    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 that question.

    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.

    Today on WebMD

    Mature woman exercise at home
    Hint: Warming up first is crucial.
    feet with gout
    Quiz yourself.
     
    woman in pain
    One idea? Eat fish to curb inflammation.
    senior couple walking
    Can you keep your RA from progressing?
     
    xray of knees with osteoarthritis
    Slideshow
    close up of man wearing dress shoes
    Slideshow
     
    feet with gout
    Quiz
    close up of red shoe in shoebox
    Slideshow
     
    salad
    Video
    two male hands
    ARTICLE
     
    Woman massaging her neck
    Quiz
    5 Lupus Risk Factors
    Article