Arthritis and Obesity Linked to Massive Healthcare Costs

According to a recent CDC Report the number of adults with arthritis has increased by nearly one million per year and it is impacting the activities of 21 million adults. Arthritis also carries a heavy financial burden, costing the economy $128 billion annually. 67 million Americans are projected to have arthritis by 2030.

Among the report’s findings from 2007 to 2009:

* 50 million U.S. adults (or 22 percent of the population) have arthritis, up from 46 million in 2003-2005

* Arthritis affects the daily activities of 21 million adults, up significantly from 19 million in 2003-2005. This includes:

o 9.4% of the total adult population
o 42.4% of adults with arthritis
o BMI (body mass index) influences prevalence of arthritis
o 29.6 percent of obese adults have arthritis (one in three)
o 19.8 percent of overweight adults have arthritis (one in five)
o 16.9 percent of normal/underweight adults have arthritis (one in six)

Obesity is associated with onset of knee osteoarthritis (the most common type of arthritis), disease progression, disability, total knee joint replacement, and poor clinical outcomes after knee joint replacement, and likely has a critical role in the increasing impact of arthritis on disability, health-related quality of life, and health-care costs (5). Lifetime risk for symptomatic knee osteoarthritis alone is 60.5% among persons who are obese, double the risk for those of normal/underweight (6). Because even small amounts of weight loss (approximately 11 lbs [5 kg]) can reduce the risk for incident knee osteoarthritis among women by 50% (7) and might also reduce mortality risk in osteoarthritis patients by half (8), large-scale clinical and community efforts to prevent and treat obesity as recommended by the National Institutes of Health¶ might reduce the obesity-related burden and impact of arthritis in the population. Read more

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