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Women's Health USA 2013 An illustrated collection of current and historical data, published annually.

Arthritis

Narrative

Arthritis is the most common cause of disability and activity limitations among U.S. adults.1 Arthritis comprises more than 100 different diseases that affect areas in or around the joints. The most common type is osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative joint disease that causes pain and loss of movement in areas such as the knees, hips, hands and spine.2 Treatment for osteoarthritis focuses on relieving symptoms and there is no known cure for this condition. Types of arthritis that primarily affect women include arthritis, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis, which is the most serious and disabling type of arthritis.3

In 2009– 2011, 22.1 percent of adults in the United States reported that they had ever been diagnosed with arthritis (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site). Arthritis was more common among women than men (24.7 versus 19.1 percent, respectively) and increased greatly with age. For example, among women, 5.4 percent of those aged 18–34 years had ever been diagnosed with arthritis, compared to 15.3 percent of 35- to 44-year-olds, 34.1 percent of those aged 45–64 years, and 55.7 percent of women aged 65 years and older (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site).

Arthritis prevalence also varied by race and ethnicity. In 2009–2011, more than one-quarter of non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native, and non-Hispanic women of multiple races reported having been diagnosed with arthritis (25.9, 27.0, 29.5 and 32.4 percent, respectively), compared to 19.6 percent of Hispanic women and 12.9 percent of non-Hispanic Asian women. Hispanic and non-Hispanic Asians also had the lowest arthritis prevalence among men.

Obesity has been associated with the onset and progression of osteoarthritis.4 In 2009–2011, nearly one-third of obese adults and one-fifth of overweight adults had been diagnosed with arthritis, compared to 17.3 percent of adults who were neither overweight nor obese. An arthritis diagnosis was reported by 33.4 percent of obese women, compared to 19.0 percent of women who were neither overweight nor obese.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention link leaves hrsa.gov site. Arthritis: Meeting the Challenge of Living Well. Accessed 09/12/13.

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention link leaves hrsa.gov site. Arthritis. Osteoarthritis. Accessed 09/20/13.

3 Arthritis Foundation link leaves hrsa.gov site. Arthritis in Women. Accessed 09/20/13.

4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention link leaves hrsa.gov site. Arthritis. Osteoarthritis. Accessed 09/20/13.

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Graphs

Data

Adults Aged 18 and Older with Arthritis,* by Race/Ethnicity** and Sex, 2009-2011
Race/Ethnicity Female Male
*Reported a health professional has ever told them they have arthritis; all estimates are age-adjusted.
**The sample of Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islanders was too small to produce reliable results.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, 2009-2011. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
Non-Hispanic White 25.9 20.9
Non-Hispanic Black 27.0 18.1
Hispanic 19.6 12.3
Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native 29.5 25.3
Non-Hispanic Asian 12.9 10.1
Non-Hispanic Multiple Race 32.4 27.6
Total 24.7 19.1
Adults Aged 18 and Older with Arthritis,* by Sex and Weight Status,** 2009-2011
Sex Normal Weight (BMI <25) Overweight (BMI = 25-29.9) Obese (BMI ≥ 30)
*Reported a health professional has ever told them they have arthritis; estimates are age-adjusted.
**Body Mass Index (BMI) is a ratio of weight to height.
†Includes underweight.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, 2009-2011. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
Female 19.0 24.4 33.4
Male 14.4 18.0 25.3
Total 17.3 20.7 29.5