MMWR Early Release
Vol. 66, Early Release
March 07, 2017
Vital Signs: Prevalence of Doctor-Diagnosed Arthritis and Arthritis-Attributable Activity Limitation — United States, 2013–2015
Kamil E. Barbour, PhD; Charles G. Helmick, MD; Michael Boring, MS; et al.
Arthritis is a large and growing clinical and public health problem. Given the high prevalence of arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitations in the United States, health care providers and public health practitioners can address arthritis and other chronic conditions by prioritizing proven, nonpharmaceutical interventions, such as self-management education and appropriate physical activity, as effective ways to improve health outcomes, especially for groups with the highest prevalence.
•Arthritis is common, expensive, and a leading cause of disability. An estimated 54.4 million adults (22.7%) had doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
•Approximately 24 million adults with arthritis had activity limitations attributable to arthritis. Among adults with arthritis, the percentage limited by arthritis has increased by almost 20% over time.
•Approximately half of all adults with heart disease or diabetes had arthritis. Nearly one third of adults with obesity also had arthritis. Arthritis makes managing these conditions harder.
•Adults with arthritis are often prescribed opioids in the United States; however, better ways to help manage arthritis often exist. For example, physical activity can reduce pain and improve physical function by approximately 40%. However, one in three adults with arthritis report no leisure time physical activity.
•Using confidence and skills learned in self-management education workshops can help reduce pain, fatigue, and depression by 10% to 20%. However, only 11% had taken a self-management education workshop.
•Health care providers can play an important role in the management of arthritis. For example, adults with arthritis are more likely to attend a self-management education program when it is recommended by a health care provider.
•Additional information is available at https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns.