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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2004 May 14;53(18):383-6.

Prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis and possible arthritis--30 states, 2002.


Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, and its prevalence is expected to increase as the U.S. population ages. State-specific estimates of the prevalence of this condition are key to planning health services and programs to prevent arthritis-related disability and to track progress toward meeting national health objectives for 2010 (objectives 2.1-2.8). In 2002, new questions about arthritis were released as an optional module of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), and 30 states elected to use the module. This report summarizes results from the 2002 BRFSS on prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis and possible arthritis. The findings indicate that the estimated prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis among adults in the 30 states ranged from 17.8% to 35.8%, and the prevalence of possible arthritis ranged from 10.3% to 21.3%. Increased intervention efforts, including early diagnosis and appropriate clinical and self-management (e.g., physical activity, education, and maintaining appropriate weight), are needed to reduce the impact of arthritis.

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