Number of Adults with Arthritis Continues to Increase, CDC Reports

Number of Adults with Arthritis Continues to Increase, CDC Reports
According to the latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Vital Signs monthly report Arthritis in America, more than 54 million U.S. adults — one in four — are living with arthritis, and about half of them, 24 million, are limited in performing daily activities. The report also states that the number of people limited by arthritic disease continues to grow, with arthritic disorders now among the leading causes of physical disability in the U.S. While the term "arthritis" literally means joint inflammation, in the public health field it has acquired a broader meaning, and is used as a collective term for more than 100 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints, surrounding tissues, and other connective tissues, including conditions like fibromyalgia and lupus. On March 7, CDC Vital Signs webcast a telebriefing and Q&A session discussing the Arthritis in America report, featuring CDC Acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat, MD, along with CDC arthritis program epidemiologists Dr. Kamil Barbour and Dr. Chad Helmick. "Everyone knows someone with arthritis — family members, friends, and neighbors," Schuchat said. "The news is this: Arthritis is at an all-time high. More than 54 million people report a diagnosis of it. Alarmingly, more people with arthritis are suffering from it." More people with lives that are limited limSchuchat said that among adults with arthritis, the percentage whose lives are particularly limited has increased by about 20 percent since 2002, from about 36 percent then to 43 percent in 2015. "We are seeing this increase independent of aging of the population," she said. "When I say limited," Schuchat explained, "I mean that adults may not be able to kneel on the ground, hold a cup, lift a grocery bag, or walk to t
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