Friday, August 21, 2009

The burden of arthritis

The Burden of Arthritis


Although the clinical term literally means joint inflammation, "arthritis" actually refers to a group of more than 100 rheumatic conditions.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), self-reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis collectively affects nearly 43 million Americans--or about 1 in 5 adults. Another 23 million have chronic musculoskeletal symptoms that suggest they, too, may have arthritis. This makes arthritis one of the most common illnesses in the United States and a leading cause of disability. As the population ages, the CDC says that the number of Americans affected will increase dramatically.

"People ignore arthritis both as public and personal health problems because it doesn't kill you," says Capt. Charles G. Helmick, M.D., a medical epidemiologist at the CDC. "But what they don't realize is that, as people work and live longer, arthritis can affect their quality of life and lead to limitations in activities and work and eventually disability."

link to long descriptionArthritis limits everyday activities for 8 million Americans, according to statistics compiled by the CDC. Each year,


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