U.S. States With The Highest Rates Of Adult Arthritis

Inflammation of the hand joints in an arthritis sufferer.
Inflammation of the hand joints in an arthritis sufferer.

5. Defining and Measuring Arthritis Incidence

The painful disorder associated with the inflammation of one or more joints in our body is known as Arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of this disease, and it is itself a degenerative joint disorder resulting from either trauma, infection, or the natural process of aging. According to data provided by the National Health Interview Survey, or NHIS, for the years 2010-2012, approximately 22.7% of adults in the U.S. who willingly subjected themselves to checkups had been positively diagnosed by doctors with arthritis.

4. The Data

By the year 2030, no less than 67 million adults who are 18 years old and above are expected to be living with a diagnosis of arthritis in the U.S. This projection is according to NHIS data, which further asserts that an estimated 37% of adults already with arthritis will complain of activity limitations caused by the said disorder. Common terms used by those inflicted with arthritis when describing their daily activities of living are “very difficult” and “too painful to accomplish”. These activities include simple functions that most of us take for granted, such as bending, stooping, kneeling, as well as walking even the shortest distances in daily life. These disabilities hinder people from functioning well in their respective communities, caring for their loved ones and working productively at their jobs.

3. Highest Concentrations in the South

West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, Arkansas, Maine, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Indiana and Missouri have the highest percentage of adults with Arthritis in America. Such is the impact of this disorder in these states that their respective state and local governments have developed coalitions. These coalitions work in order to specifically address the burdens of arthritis as well as spread public awareness about it and educate primary care givers. Emphasis on the presence of prevention strategies are also given which includes physical activity, weight control, prevention of injury in sports and the work area, and protection from Lyme disease.

2. Risk Factors for Arthritis

Studies have shown that arthritis is more prevalent among adults who are medically obese. According to experts, as the body mass index increases, the age adjusted prevalence of this joint disorder also increases. In underweight or normal adults with diagnosed arthritis, no less than 38.2% complain of activity limitations due to arthritis whereas in obese adults with diagnosed arthritis, a whopping 44.8% complain of functional activity limitations. Such is the impact of weight on this joint disorder that losing even a few pounds greatly decreases the risk of one person getting arthritis and alleviates the pain and discomfort associated with it.

1. Comorbid Diseases

Arthritis can contribute to a host of other serious sedentary lifestyle-associated illnesses, like diabetes and heart disease, as it makes sufferers tend to be even less active. Because of the limited physical activity brought about by the pains of arthritis, individuals suffering from this disorder have been known to eventually develop serious health conditions which ultimately cause their demise. This is corroborated by the results of a recent CDC study, which revealed that 47.5 million US adults report arthritis-associated disabilities that go beyond the disorder itself. Of these, back, spine and heart problems were found to be the most common.


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