Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2007 May;16(4):441-53.

Arthritis burden and impact are greater among U.S. women than men: intervention opportunities.

Author information

Arthritis Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, USA.



To summarize arthritis burden and impact among women compared with men, using updated surveillance and impact measures; to describe public health approaches to arthritis; and to review effective, evidence-based arthritis self-management interventions.


Arthritis continues to burden the U.S. population as the leading cause of physical disability and affects women disproportionately: women with arthritis report greater prevalence of activity and work limitations, psychological distress, and severe joint pain than their male counterparts. Three main public health interventions can reduce arthritis impact: self-management education, physical activity, and weight management. Self-management education programs are proven to reduce pain and depression, delay disability, improve self-efficacy, physical function, and quality of life, and reduce healthcare costs. Appropriate physical activity decreases pain, improves function, and delays disability. The American College of Rheumatology recommends maintaining a healthy weight to benefit patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis. Women appear more receptive to certain information delivery methods (i.e., physician counseling) than men, suggesting gender-specific targeting of interventions may be of use.


Effective interventions remain underused. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Arthritis Program and its partners, including state arthritis programs, continue their efforts to build the arthritis public health science base, monitor burden and impact, evaluate and disseminate evidence-based interventions, and work to decrease and delay disability, and increase quality of life among those with arthritis. As new approaches are developed, women and other disproportionately impacted groups merit particular consideration in tailoring and delivering programs to reduce arthritis burden.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons


    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
    Loading ...
    Support Center