CDC: More American adults hobbled by arthritis

Oct 07, 2010 By MIKE STOBBE , AP Medical Writer

(AP) -- A surprising jump in the number of Americans hobbled by arthritis may be due to obesity, health experts said Thursday.

About 22 percent of U.S. adults have been told by a doctor that they have , the reported. The statistic comes from national telephone polling of tens of thousands of adults in 2007 through 2009.

That translates to nearly 50 million people with the joint disease. It's also roughly the same percentage with arthritis as reported in a 2003-2005 study.

But there was a significant jump in adults who said their or other arthritis symptoms limited their usual activities, to 9.4 percent from 8.3 percent. That means more than 21 million adults have trouble climbing stairs, dressing, gardening or doing other things, up from less than 19 million only a few years before, the CDC researchers estimated.

That jump was "more than we would have expected," said Dr. John Klippel, president of the Atlanta-based Arthritis Foundation.

Klippel said the increase probably was due mainly to baby boomers, who are at an age when they are more likely to suffer osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. It breaks down and causes pain and joint stiffness.

He added that a complicating factor is high rates of who are overweight and obese. Extra weight puts more pressure on arthritic joints, making the problem worse, he said.

The percentage of people who were hobbled was more than twice as high in obese people as those who were normal weight or were underweight, the CDC researchers found. Obesity can lead to or worsen in the knees, the researchers wrote.

The study is published in a CDC publication, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Explore further: Sierra Leone, Liberia brace for new Ebola cases

More information: CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr

4 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

1 in 2 adults at risk for painful knee arthritis

Sep 03, 2008

A landmark government study suggests nearly one in two people (46%) will develop painful knee osteoarthritis over their lifetime, with the highest risk among those who are obese. According to the Arthritis Foundation, the ...

Minorities hit hardest by arthritis

Apr 15, 2010

The burden of arthritis is greater for African Americans and Hispanics, despite lower prevalence among these groups according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report published in the May issue of Preventing Ch ...

Recommended for you

Sierra Leone, Liberia brace for new Ebola cases

33 minutes ago

Two of the West African nations hardest hit by Ebola were bracing for new caseloads on Monday after trying to outflank the outbreak with a nationwide checkup and a large new clinic.

Reversing the effects of pulmonary fibrosis

56 minutes ago

Yale University researchers are studying a potential new treatment that reverses the effects of pulmonary fibrosis, a respiratory disease in which scars develop in the lungs and severely hamper breathing.

Streets bustling after Sierra Leone shutdown ends

7 hours ago

Streets in Sierra Leone's capital bustled again Monday after an unprecedented nationwide shutdown during which officials said more than 1 million households were checked for Ebola patients and given information ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

JSC22
not rated yet Oct 15, 2010
When you consider that most Americans are overweight or obese it's not a far stretch to consider the wear and tear on their joints carrying around all that extra weight. Studies show even losing 5 lbs of fat can decrease joint pain stemming from excess weight. Check out this fantastic blog for simple tips to help reduce weight and get healthier: blog.mydiscoverhealth.com