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10 Percent of U.S. Adults Physically Limited by Arthritis

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Posted November 11, 2013

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.

“The increase in arthritis definitely has to do with the aging of our population, but it’s also potentially linked to the obesity epidemic,” said the study’s lead author, CDC epidemiologist Kamil Barbour.

The report, published in the Nov. 8 issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, is based on data from the 2010-2012 National Health Interview Survey.

The researchers found that almost one-quarter of U.S. adults — or 52.5 million — have some form of arthritis. And the disease limits mobility for almost 10 percent of adults — 22.7 million.

Osteoarthritis, which is related to normal wear and tear of joints, is the most common type of arthritis. However, the report also includes rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout and fibromyalgia.

The number of Americans with arthritis didn’t surprise Barbour. “We expect 57 million Americans to have arthritis by 2030,” he said.

The unexpected finding was the degree to which arthritis limits Americans’ physical activity. “It actually exceeds our estimates,” he noted. “We projected we would be at 22 million in 2020.”

Obesity could be the cause of this surge, Barbour said. More than one-third of Americans are obese, according to the CDC.

Read more at: MedlinePlus

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