|MMWR Weekly |
Volume 62, No. 17
May 3, 2013
Announcements: Arthritis Awareness Month — May 2013
May 3, 2013 / 62(17);340
May is Arthritis Awareness Month. Arthritis affects an estimated 50 million U.S. adults (1) and continues to be the most common cause of disability in the United States (2). This year's theme, "Faces of Arthritis," (http://www.arthritis.org/facesofarthritis) is designed to challenge arthritis stereotypes and educate the public about the impacts of arthritis, along with promoting clinical and public health interventions to control it.
Common arthritis stereotypes suggest that arthritis only affects older adults and that it is inevitable and untreatable. However, arthritis can affect persons at any age, including children, and most persons with arthritis are aged <65 i="" years="">365>
). Further, arthritis comprises a set of diseases that are not a normal part of aging. Even after arthritis is diagnosed, there are many measures that can minimize disease progression and joint pain as well as help patients maintain function. For example, persons with arthritis can supplement clinical management with physical activity, which reduces arthritis pain and helps manage coincident problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity (4). In addition, self-management education helps persons with arthritis gain control of their condition by learning techniques to manage their symptoms and reduce pain and activity limitations (5). Information about ways to help manage arthritis is available at http://www.cdc.gov/arthritis. Additional information is available from the Arthritis Foundation (http://www.arthritis.org) and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (http://www.nih.gov/niams).
- CDC. Prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation—United States, 2007–2009. MMWR 2010;59:1261–5.
- CDC. Prevalence and most common causes of disability among adults—United States, 2005. MMWR 2009;58:421–6.
- Helmick CG, Felson DT, Lawrence RC, et al. Estimates of the prevalence of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in the United States: part I. Arthritis Rheum 2007;58:15–25.
- Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. Physical activity guidelines for America. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion; 2008. Available at http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/report/default.aspx.
- Brady TJ, Murphy L, O'Colmain BJ, et al. A meta-analysis of health status, health behaviors, and healthcare utilization outcomes of the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program. Prev Chronic Dis 2013;10:120112.