Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Arthritis is on the Rise

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 20 percent of U.S. adults have arthritis and more than a third of them have limited activity because of this growing problem. Arthritis is on the rise in the U.S. and the problem is only becoming worse.

The CDC reviewed information of an annual survey of 30,000 people for it's latest report that is published in the CDC's weekly summary of disease and death. This survey covered the different forms of arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, and fibromyalgia. The findings indicate that 46.4 million of U.S. adults reported doctor diagnosed arthritis, and 17.4 million reported arthritis limited their activity during 2003-2005. These figures are higher then those taken in 2002, with 43 million reporting arthritis to their doctor and slightly less than eight percent affecting people's activity levels.

This annual survey also reported that those most susceptible to the different forms of arthrits include women, older adults, those with very little education, white, as compared with blacks and Hispanics, anyone who is obese, overweight, or physically inactive. Unfortunately about 30 percent of the population is obese and 60 percent are overweight. Even though it's been told time and again that exercise has been shown to help prevent arthritis, only 22 percent of U.S. residents say they exercise at least 30 minutes a day five or more times a week. The survey also found that 16 percent of those who have a normal weight or are underweight have arthritis.

Published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC predicts that by 2030 arthritis will be affecting 67 million U.S. adults. The CDC believes that those with a low education, obese or are physically inactive are the ones most likely to say that arthritis and joint problems limit their activity levels. The CDC suggests that Americans get moving. By exercising, shedding pounds and becoming more active you may have an edge against arthritis.

The CDC reports that 31 percent of obese adults and 21 percent of overweight adults say they had been diagnosed with arthritis, compared with 16 percent of leaner adults. Remember, extra weight will put more stress on your joints, and when joints get little use, they become more stiff and painful.

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