Friday, 20 Sep 2019

You are here

CDC: One in Four US Adults have Arthritis

MMWR reports that in 2017, one in four US adults have arthritis (range from 22.8% to 34.6%), with higher rates in Appalachia and Lower Mississippi Valley regions. Of those with arthritis, 31% reported to have "severe arthritis".

An estimated 54.4 million (approximately one in four) U.S. adults have physician-diagnosed arthritis. CDC analyzed 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data to estimate current state-specific prevalence of arthritis.

Among adults with arthritis, age-standardized, state-specific prevalences of both severe joint pain (median = 30.3%; range = 20.8% [Colorado] to 45.2% [Mississippi]) and physical inactivity (median = 33.7%; range = 23.2% [Colorado] to 44.4% [Kentucky]) were highest in southeastern states.

Physical inactivity prevalence among those with severe joint pain (47.0%) was higher than that among those with moderate (31.8%) or no/mild joint pain (22.6%). Self-management strategies such as maintaining a healthy weight or being physically active can reduce arthritis pain and prevent or delay arthritis-related disability. Evidence-based physical activity and self-management education programs are available that can improve quality of life among adults with arthritis.

In 2017, age-specific arthritis prevalence was higher with increasing age, ranging from 8.1% among those aged 18–44 years to 50.4% among those aged ≥65 years (Table 1). Age-standardized arthritis prevalence was significantly higher among women (25.4%) than among men (19.1%); non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Natives (29.7%) than among other racial/ethnic groups (range = 12.8%–25.5%); and those unable to work/disabled (51.3%), compared with retired (34.3%), unemployed (26.0%), or employed/self-employed (17.7%).

Arthritis prevalence was higher with increasing body mass index, ranging from 17.9% among those with healthy weight or underweight to 30.4% among those with obesity. Arthritis prevalence was lower among Hispanics and non-Hispanic Asians than among other racial/ethnic groups, was inversely related to education and federal poverty level, and was higher among those living in more rural areas compared with urban dwellers.

Among adults with arthritis, no/mild, moderate, and severe joint pain was reported by 36.2% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 35.7%–36.8%), 33.0% (CI = 32.4%–33.5%), and 30.8% (CI = 30.3%–31.4%) of respondents, respectively (unadjusted prevalences). Age-specific percentages for severe joint pain declined with increasing age, ranging from 33.0% among those aged 18–44 years to 25.1% among those aged ≥65 years.

Age-standardized severe joint pain prevalence was ≥40% among the following groups: those unable to work/disabled (66.9%); those with less than a high school diploma (54.1%); those living at ≤125% federal poverty level (51.6%); non-Hispanic blacks (50.9%); retired persons (45.8%); Hispanics (42.0%); non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaska Natives (42.0%); and lesbian/gay/bisexual/queer/questioning (40.7%; reported by 27 states). Severe joint pain prevalence was similar across urban/rural geographic areas, ranging from 32.7%–35.7% in all areas, except for a lower prevalence (28.6%) in large fringe metro areas (Table 1).

Among adults with arthritis, age-specific physical inactivity prevalence was higher with increasing age (ranging from 31.0% among those aged 18–44 years to 37.0% among those aged ≥65 years). Age-standardized physical inactivity prevalence was ≥40% among the following groups: those unable to work/disabled (51.2%); those with less than a high school diploma (46.4%); those living at ≤125% federal poverty level (42.6%); and non-Hispanic blacks (40.4%). Physical inactivity prevalence increased with increasing rurality and with increasing joint pain levels (ranging from 22.6% among those with no/mild joint pain to 47.0% among those with severe joint pain).

Median age-standardized state prevalence of arthritis among adults aged ≥18 years was 22.8% (range = 15.7% [DC] to 34.6% [West Virginia]) (Table 2) and was highest in Appalachia and Lower Mississippi Valley regions. Among 144,099 adults with arthritis, median age-standardized state prevalences of severe joint pain and physical inactivity were 30.3% (range = 20.8% [Colorado] to 45.2% [Mississippi]) and 33.7% (range = 23.2% [Colorado] to 44.4% [Kentucky]), respectively. Age-standardized severe joint pain (Figure) and physical inactivity prevalences were highest in southeastern states.


The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

Add new comment

More Like This

Need for Pre-operative Hyperglycemia Testing Prior to Total Joint Replacement

JAMA reports on a large Medicare cohort study showing that amongst patients undergoing total joint replacement (TJR), preoperative HbA1c testing was performed in 26% to 43% of patients with diabetes and in only 5% of those without diabetes. Importantly research has shown that an elevated HbA1c level is associated with postoperative complications.

Weight Loss Cuts Hospital Stays for Obese TKA Patients

Morbidly obese patients who lost 20 lbs before total knee arthroplasty (TKA) cut their hospital stays by about 1 day, and were 76% less likely to have an extended hospital stay, research showed. 

High-Dose Vitamin D: No Help for Bone Health

Vitamin D might not be much help for strengthening bones among healthy adults without osteoporosis, Canadian researchers reported, even at doses far higher than recommended daily allowances. In a clinical trial assessing three levels of daily vitamin D supplementation -- 400 IU, 4,000 IU, and 10,000 IU -- radial volumetric bone mineral density was significantly lower among those (ages 55-70) taking higher doses for 3 years, according to Steven Boyd, PhD, of the University of Calgary in Canada, and colleagues.

Osteoporosis Tx: Good for Bones, but Not for Cutting Death Risk

Osteoporosis treatments were not linked with reduced overall mortality, according to a meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trial data.

Looking at data from 38 clinical trials, there was no significant association found between all drug-based osteoporosis treatments and overall mortality rate (risk ratio 0.98, 95% CI 0.91-1.05), reported Steven Cummings, MD, of the San Francisco Coordinating Center, and colleagues.

Bisphosphonate Use Associated with Reduced Mortality

The Journal of Bone and Mineral Research (JBMR) has published a report showing that a reduction in the rate of bone loss by nitrogen bisphosphonates was associated with a 40% lower mortality risk.

Accelerated bone loss has been shown to be an independent predictor of mortality risk, but the relationship between bisphosphonates, bone loss, and mortality is unknown.