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Important Facts for Arthritis and Poor Mental Health


Individuals who report doctor-diagnosed arthritis and seven or more days when their mental health was not good during the past 30 days are considered to have arthritis and poor mental health.


Number of survey respondents who reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis and seven or more days when their mental health was not good in the past 30 days.


Total number of respondents who reported they had some form of arthritis. Responses of "Don't know/Not Sure", "Refused", and those with "Missing" responses were excluded.

Data Interpretation Issues

The estimates used in this report are based on self-reported data. Such reported information has been shown to be acceptable for surveillance purposes. Beginning in 2011, BRFSS data include both landline and cell phone respondent data. In addition, a new weighting methodology was used. This methodology uses additional demographic information such as education, race, and marital status in the weighting procedure. Both of these changes were implemented to account for an increased number of households without landline phones and an under-representation of certain demographic groups that were not well-represented in previous samples. More details about these changes can be found at:

Why Is This Important?

Having a long term illness such as arthritis may contribute to stress, depression, and problems with emotions. Poor mental health can exacerbate functional disabilities, affect adherence to treatment, and be a barrier to self-care. Findings from a CDC report indicate that one third of U.S. adults with arthritis age 45 years and older have either anxiety or depression. Most people with arthritis who had depression (85%) also had anxiety. However, only 50% of the people with arthritis who had anxiety also had depression. Study results came from an analysis of CDC's Arthritis Conditions and Health Effects Survey (ACHES) data.[1] Health care providers can help reduce poor mental health among people with arthritis by screening all adults with arthritis for depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems.

Healthy People Objective AOCBC-5:

Reduce the proportion of adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis who report serious psychological distress
U.S. Target: 6.6 percent

How Are We Doing?

In 2012, adults with arthritis were more likely to report seven or more days of poor mental health in the past 30 days (23.5%) compared to adults without arthritis (13.7%). Younger persons with arthritis report poor mental health more often than their older counterparts. Among adults aged 18-34 with arthritis, 40.1 percent reported seven or more days of poor mental health compared to 11.1 percent among adults aged 65 and older with arthritis in 2012.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The age-adjusted rate of Utah adults with arthritis who reported seven or more days of poor mental health in the past 30 days was 31.6 percent in 2012. In contrast, 23.9 percent of adults with arthritis in the U.S. reported seven or more days of poor mental health. Because age affects the likelihood of having arthritis, it is important to adjust for the effect of age when comparing populations. This method helps determine if a certain population has a factor, which contributes to arthritis more than the effect of age. Both the Utah and U.S. data were adjusted to the U.S. 2000 standard population.

Evidence-based Practices

The CDC Arthritis Program recommends evidence-based programs that have been shown to improve the quality of life for people with arthritis. The programs currently being promoted in Utah are the following: - Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program - Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program - Arthritis Foundation Walk With Ease Program - Chronic Disease Self-Management (CDSMP) (Spanish and English) - Diabetes Self-Management Program - EnhanceFitness Program For additional information on these programs and other ways people with arthritis can improve their physical and emotional aspects of arthritis, visit arthritis interventions at and community-based mental health interventions at us/micd.htm.

Health Program Information

The mission of the Utah Arthritis Program (UAP) is to improve the quality of life for people affected by arthritis. The UAP is focused on measuring the occurrence of arthritis in Utah, improving arthritis communications and education, and increasing participation in programs proven to help those with doctor-diagnosed arthritis. The UAP is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Arthritis Foundation Utah/Idaho Chapter, local health districts, and community based organizations to build a comprehensive, effective program.
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Mon, 20 November 2017 4:49:15 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Fri, 26 May 2017 10:19:42 MDT