1 In 4 US Adults Are Disabled By Arthritis: CDC Reports

Posted: Mar 13 2017, 2:47pm CDT | by , Updated: Mar 13 2017, 8:48pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
1 in 4 US Adults are Disabled by Arthritis: CDC Reports
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The percentage of adults limited by arthritis has increased by about 20% since 2002.

According to the latest CDC report, arthritis is a leading cause of disability in the United States. The disease can cause severe pain and stiffness in joints which can limit physical movements and hamper daily activities such as holding a cup, lifting a grocery bag, or walking to a car.

However, arthritis no longer affects just older people as usually believed by general public. It can strike at any age. About 54 million or 1 in 4 adults in the US have been diagnosed with arthritis and 24 million of them are unable to perform their everyday activities because of the crippling disease. The number of adults suffering from arthritis disability has increased from 35.9 percent in 2002 to 42.8 percent in 2014, showing a staggering 20 percent rise in just 10 years.

“Arthritis is at an at all-time high and alarmingly, more people with arthritis are suffering from it.” Dr. Anne Schuchat from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement.

Arthritis only gets worse if not treated properly and in time. Most adults with arthritis are prescribed opioid medicines, yet other options are more effective and safer than drugs to reduce swelling and to relieve pain.

Physical activity such as walking, swimming or biking can reduce painful symptoms of arthritis by as much as 40 percent. Still, about one-third of adults with arthritis are inactive and do not participate in disease management programs. CDC advises doctors to urge their arthritis patients to stop being inactive and to strive for a healthier weight to ease joint pain.

“It is just as important for them (doctors) to motivate their patients to attend workshops to learn how to better manage their arthritis.” Epidemiologist Kamil Barbour from CDC said.

The report also found that arthritis is often accompanied by other chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart issues but all these conditions are manageable through exercise and physical activity.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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