Arthritis and Quality of Life
People with arthritis report more limited life activities and psychological distress.
A new CDC study of adults aged 18 years or older reports that having multiple chronic conditions was associated with poorer outcomes for important life domains (i.e., social participation restriction, serious psychological distress, and work disability). Having arthritis as one of those multiple chronic conditions made things even worse. Because arthritis is a common condition (affects more than 1 of 5 adults) and often occurs with other chronic conditions, it is important to highlight the possible role of arthritis when discussing the negative effects of having multiple chronic conditions and the interventions needed to address those impacts.
- When comparing adults with one chronic condition, those with arthritis reported higher
- Social participation restriction (3.7 vs 2.1%).
- Work disability (15.6 vs 8.6%).
- When comparing adults with ≥2 or more chronic conditions, those with arthritis reported higher
- Social participation restriction (10.4 vs 6.3%).
- Serious psychological distress (9.9 vs 6.8%).
- Work disability (30.7 vs 22.5%).
- The percentage of adults with social participation restriction, psychological distress, or work disability increased as the number of chronic diseases per person went up from 0 to ≥2.
What You Can Do
If you have arthritis or other chronic conditions, or both, you may be able to reduce your chance of having these poor outcomes by engaging in physical activity interventions, as well as interventions that emphasize chronic disease self-management and focus on diet and lifestyle choices. These interventions can reduce pain and disability, improve function, and address arthritis barriers to physical activity such as joint pain.
What CDC Is Doing
CDC is raising awareness about the impact of arthritis and other chronic conditions on the risk of poor life domain outcomes by making arthritis and chronic disease interventions available in community and clinical settings. Learn more about CDC's arthritis intervention programs.
This study was based on 2013 data from a sample of 34,505 adults in the 2013 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which conducts in-person interviews of the US civilian, non-institutionalized population.
Qin J, Theis KA, Barbour KE, Helmick CG, Baker NA, Brady TJ. Impact of Arthritis and Multiple Chronic Conditions on Selected Life Domains—United States, 2013. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2015;64:578-82. html