More than 50 million Americans have arthritis, and almost half of them can't perform normal daily activities because of the disease, U.S. health officials said Thursday. Aging and obesity are the chief culprits behind this growing health problem, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To update previous U.S. estimates of the prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation (AAAL), the CDC analyzed 2010 2012 data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). During 2010 2012, an estimated 52.5 million (22.7%) of adults in the United States reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis, and 22.7 million (9.8%) reported AAAL (43.2% of those with arthritis). These estimates represent net increases of 0.87 million adults with arthritis per year and 0.53 million adults with AAAL per year since the 2007 2009 estimates
Additionally, almost one third of adults who were obese also had arthritis, and more than 15% of these adults had AAAL.
ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross, who was a rheumatologist back in his practice days, had this to say: The huge problem of degenerative joint disease, or osteoarthritis, is so common that we sometimes give it short shrift, compared to say cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimers other diseases of aging. But for pure suffering and disability, OA outranks them all, in some measures. Although much research into its underlying pathogenesis has been accomplished, we still have no good answers for prevention or groundbreaking treatments, aside from the tried-and-true, Lose Weight ! Thankfully, since the first total hip replacements came around in the mid-1960s, that area has blossomed, and many arthritics are active and mobile because of this miraculous technology. More work needs to be done: on prevention, treatment, and root causes. When the latter is characterized, better treatments will follow.