FRIDAY, Oct. 8, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Almost one-quarter of U.S. adults report arthritis, according to research published in the Oct. 8 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Kristina A. Theis, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed combined National Health Interview Survey data from 2016 to 2018 to update national prevalence estimates for arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation (AAAL) among U.S. adults.

The researchers found that arthritis was reported by an estimated 58.5 million adults aged 18 years or older (23.7 percent), while AAAL was reported by 25.7 million (10.4 percent overall; 43.9 percent among those with arthritis). Adults with physical limitations, few economic opportunities, and poor overall health had the highest prevalence of both arthritis and AAAL. Groups for which half or more reported having arthritis included respondents aged 65 years and older (50.4 percent), adults who were unable to work or disabled (52.3 percent), and adults with fair/poor self-rated health (51.2 percent), joint symptoms in the past 30 days (52.2 percent), activities-of-daily-living disability (54.8 percent), or instrumental activities-of-daily-living disability (55.9 percent).

“Because population aging and other contributing factors (e.g., obesity) are expected to sustain these trends, public health, medical, and senior and other service systems face substantial challenges in addressing the needs of adults with arthritis, who already account for nearly one quarter of U.S. adults,” the authors write.

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