Prevalence of Severe Joint Pain Among Adults with Doctor-Diagnosed Arthritis — United States, 2002–2014

In the US, arthritis is a leading debilitating disease. It is estimated that arthritis effects 52.5 million adults and this number is on the rise. Also known as server joint pain, arthritis can limit function and compromise one’s quality of life. There is a light at the end of the arthritis tunnel though. Widespread medicine is being developed with hopes to stop SJP. SJP is higher among middle-aged adults; specifically women, non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, people with disabilities, people with less than a high school education, and people who are unable to work. SJP also was higher among those with fair/poor health, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and serious psychological distress. Hardships from SJP include: limiting one’s ability to preform basic tasks and reducing their quality of life. Physical therapy and medical injections help alleviate some symptoms, but cannot be used on everyone.

Key Points:

  • 1For those concerned about safely increasing physical activity without worsening their joint pain or their arthritis, community-based programs.
  • 2First, all of the data were self-reported. However, the doctor-diagnosed arthritis case definition has been shown to be acceptable for public health surveillance.
  • 3Second, assessment of joint pain on average over the preceding 30 days might be overly influenced by recent or severe episodes.

SJP affected more than one fourth of adults with arthritis in 2014 and was significantly higher among middle-aged adults.

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