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Health Indicator Report of Arthritis Prevalence

Arthritis affects 54 million adults (1 in every 4) in the United States and is projected to increase. Arthritis is a leading cause of disability and is associated with substantial activity limitation, work disability, and reduced quality of life. In 2016, the percent of Utah adults age 18 and older with arthritis was 19.8 percent (crude rate). This represents approximately 451,500 individuals based on the estimated Utah population 18 and older for 2016.
Among adults 25 years of age and older, those with less than a high school education are significantly more likely to report having arthritis, whereas those that are college graduates are significantly less likely to report having arthritis than all other adults.

Prevalence of Arthritis by Education Level, Utah Adults 25+, 2014-2016


Doctor-diagnosed arthritis was self-reported and was not confirmed by a health-care provider; however, such self-reports have been shown to be acceptable for surveillance purposes.   [[br]] [[br]] Age-adjusted to the U.S. 2000 standard population for comparison purposes. Age-adjusted rates are based on six age groups: 25-34, 35-44, 55-64, 65-74, 75-84, and 85+.

Data Source

Utah Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Office of Public Health Assessment, Utah Department of Health

Data Interpretation Issues

Because age affects the likelihood of having arthritis, it is beneficial to adjust for the effect of age when comparing populations. This helps determine if a certain population has factors that contribute to arthritis prevalence other than the effect of age. Beginning in 2011, BRFSS data included both landline and cell phone respondent data along with a new weighting methodology called iterative proportional fitting, or raking. This methodology utilizes additional demographic information (such as education, race, and marital status) in the weighting procedure. Both of these methodology changes were implemented to account for an increased number of U.S. households without landline phones and an under-representation of certain demographic groups that were not well-represented in the sample. More details about these changes can be found at: [].


Percentage of persons who have ever been told by a doctor or other health professional that they have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia.


Includes survey respondents ages 18 and older who reported being told by a doctor or other health professional that they had some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia. Excludes those with missing, don't know, and refused answers.


Includes survey respondents ages 18 and older. Excludes those with missing, don't know, or refused answers.

Healthy People Objective AOCBC-8:

Increase the proportion of adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis who have had effective, evidence-based arthritis education as an integral part of the management of their condition
U.S. Target: 11.7 percent
State Target: 12.1 percent

How Are We Doing?

In 2016, 19.8 percent of Utah adults reported having arthritis (crude rate). Arthritis prevalence increases as people age and is significantly more common among women than men. For combined years 2014-2016, four to five percent of the adults 18-34 years old reported having arthritis. This increased to 43.2 percent for men and 56.5 percent for women ages 65 years and older. Other groups that are less likely to have arthritis include college graduates, Hispanics, and adults making more than $75,000 a year when compared to those with less education, non-Hispanics, and those making less than $75,000 a year, respectively. The age-adjusted prevalence of arthritis for combined years 2014-2016 in Utah's Local Health Districts ranged from a low of 17.4 percent in Summit County Health District to a high of 27.5 percent in Tooele County Health District. Health districts with rates lower than the state rate included Summit County, Wasatch County, Utah County, and Salt Lake County. Health districts with rates higher than the state rate included Weber-Morgan, Central Utah, Southeast Utah, and Tooele County. The rest of the health districts had rates that were considered the same as the state rate.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The age-adjusted prevalence of arthritis in Utah was 21.2 percent in 2016, which was slightly lower than the U.S. age-adjusted rate of 23.5 percent.

What Is Being Done?

The Utah Arthritis Program focuses on measuring the occurrence of arthritis in Utah, increase arthritis awareness and educational opportunities, and promoting participation in programs proven to help persons with arthritis and other chronic conditions. Visit [ LivingWell.Utah.Gov] to find a workshop for yourself or a loved one.

Evidence-based Practices

The Utah Arthritis Program (UAP) partners with healthcare, nonprofit, and government organizations across Utah to deliver evidence-based workshops to help people better manage and prevent arthritis. The UAP recommends and supports the Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs, EnhanceFitness, Walk With Ease, and the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program which have been proven to improve the quality of life for people with arthritis.

Available Services

To find and register for an evidence-based program in your area please visit:[[br]] [][[br]] or call the Health Resource Line at:[[br]] 1-888-222-2542[[br]] Other resources for people with arthritis are available at: Utah Arthritis Program[[br]] [][[br]] Arthritis Foundation Great West Region[[br]] 4424 S 700 E Ste 180, SLC UT 84107[[br]] 888-391-9389[[br]] Information Evidence-Based Programs:[[br]] [][[br]] [][[br]] Rheumatologists in Utah[[br]] []
Page Content Updated On 12/12/2017, Published on 01/03/2018
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 Sun, 21 October 2018 10:18:21 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Tue, 2 Oct 2018 09:29:35 MDT