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Health Indicator Report of Arthritis Prevalence

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability and affects 53 million adults 18 and older in the U.S. Arthritis is also associated with substantial activity limitation, work disability, and reduced quality of life. Findings from the National Health Interview Survey (2010-2012) indicated that 9.8 percent of adults 18 and older (22.7 million) had arthritis attributable activity limitation. In 2015, the prevalence of arthritis among adults age 18 and older in Utah was 20.9 percent. This represents approximately 435,000 individuals based on the estimated Utah population 18 and older for 2015.

Prevalence of Doctor-diagnosed Arthritis by Utah Small Area, 2015

Prevalence of Doctor-diagnosed Arthritis by Utah Small Area, 2015


Doctor-diagnosed arthritis was self-reported in the BRFSS 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 eight age groups: 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, 65-74, 75-84, and 85+. A description of the Utah Small Areas may be found on IBIS at the following URL: [].

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 include 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

Other Objectives

A National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis (2010) was developed by more than 70 stakeholders following a call-to-action led by the Arthritis Foundation and CDC. A National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis sets the stage for a collaborative and focused action to achieve the following three overall goals during the next 3 to 5 years: # Ensure the availability of evidence-based intervention strategies; such as, self management education, physical activity, injury prevention, and weight management, and healthy nutrition to all Americans with osteoarthritis (OA). # Establish supportive policies, communication initiatives, and strategic alliances for OA prevention and management. # Initiate needed research to better understand the burden of OA, its risk factors, and effective strategies for intervention. [[br]] The Agenda for OA is geared to serve as a blueprint for action and sets forth 10 strategy recommendations to reduce OA symptoms such as pain, disability, and loss of function. More information and the full text of the agenda is available at [].

How Are We Doing?

In 2015, 19.6 percent of Utah adults reported having arthritis (crude rate). Arthritis prevalence ranged from 4.6 percent among persons ages 18-34 to 50.3 percent among persons ages 65 and older. Rates were higher for women in every age group. The age-adjusted prevalence of arthritis for 2015 in Utah's Local Health Districts ranged from a low of 15.6 percent in Wasatch County Health District, to a high of 28.7 percent in Southeast Health District.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The age-adjusted prevalence of arthritis in Utah was 20.9 percent in 2015, which was slightly lower than the U.S. age-adjusted rate of 22.7 percent.

What Is Being Done?

The Utah Arthritis Program focuses on measuring the occurrence of arthritis in Utah, increase arthritis awareness and educational opportunities, promoting participation in programs proven to help persons with arthritis and other chronic conditions.

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]] 801-536-0990[[br]] Information Evidence-Based Programs:[[br]] [][[br]] [][[br]] [][[br]] Rheumatologists in Utah[[br]] []
Page Content Updated On 12/08/2016, Published on 12/15/2016
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, 17 December 2017 6:37:49 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