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Health Indicator Report of Arthritis Prevalence

Arthritis affects 52.5 million adults in the U.S. and is the leading cause of disability. 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.

Prevalence of Doctor-diagnosed Arthritis by Utah Small Area, 2013

Prevalence of Doctor-diagnosed Arthritis by Utah Small Area, 2013


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. Exlcudes 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. 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 The National Arthritis Action Plan (NAAP) (1999) was developed by the Arthritis Foundation, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with a wide variety of public and private partners. The NAAP has the following six aims: 1. Increase public awareness of arthritis as the leading cause of disability and an important public health problem. 2. Prevent arthritis whenever possible. 3. Promote early diagnosis and appropriate management for people with arthritis to ensure the maximum number of years of healthy life. 4. Minimize preventable pain and disability due to arthritis. 5. Support people with arthritis in developing and accessing the resources they need to cope with their disease. 6. Ensure that people with arthritis receive the family, peer, and community support they need. The plan takes a public health approach, focusing on the impact of the disease on the whole population and prevention across the following three levels: primary, secondary and tertiary. For more information and the full text of the NAAP, visit the Arthritis Foundation at

How Are We Doing?

In 2013, 19.5 percent of Utah adults reported having arthritis. Arthritis prevalence ranged from 5.6 percent among persons ages 18-34 to 49.8 percent among persons ages 65 and older. Rates were higher for women in every age group. The age-adjusted prevalence of arthritis for 2013 in Utah's Local Health Districts ranged from a low of 17.0 percent in Wasatch County Health District, to a high of 25.8 percent in the Weber-Morgan Health District.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The age-adjusted prevalence of arthritis in Utah was 21.0 percent in 2013, which was slightly lower than the U.S. age-adjusted rate of 23.3 percent.

What Is Being Done?

Addressing the burden of arthritis requires coordinated and collaborative efforts among governmental and public health agencies, private organizations such as the Arthritis Foundation, the area agencies on aging, health systems, health care providers, and others. These alliances help to assure a comprehensive approach to addressing arthritis. The Utah Arthritis Program also focuses on measuring the occurrence of arthritis in Utah, improving arthritis awareness and education, and increasing participation in programs proven to help persons with arthritis and other chronic conditions.

Evidence-based Practices

The Utah Arthritis Program (UAP) and the Arthritis Foundation Great West Region promote the Arthritis Foundation Exercise and Walk With Ease programs. The UAP also recommends the Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs and the EnhanceFitness program which have both been proven to improve the quality of life for people with arthritis.

Available Services

Arthritis Foundation Great West Region 4424 South 700 East Suite 180 Salt Lake City, UT 84107 Arthritis Foundation Walk With Ease Program Phone: (801) 713-5722 Contact: Leslie Nelson Bear River Health Department Phone: (435) 792-6521 Contact:David Watkins Central Utah Public Health Dept. 70 Westview Drive Richfield, Utah 84701 Phone: (435) 896-5451 ext. 341 Contact: Sarah Bagley Communidades En Accion (Provides courses in Spanish) Phone: (801) 265-1111 Contact: Olga Rubiano Davis County Health Department 22 South State Street Clearfield, UT 84015 Phone: (801) 525-5087 Contact: Jessica Hardcastle EnhanceFitness Salt Lake County Active Aging Program Phone: (385) 468-3083 Contact: Nichole Shepherd Evidence-based Programs Five County Association of Governments (AAA) 1070 W. 1600 S. Bldg. B PO Box 1550 St. George, Utah 84771 Phone: (435) 673-3548 Contact:Tracy Heavyrunner Intermountain Healthcare 36 S. State Street, 22nd Floor Salt Lake City, UT 84111 Phone: (801) 408-8635 Contact: Karyn Gingras Living Well with Chronic Conditions Utah Arthritis Program Phone: (801) 538-9340 Contact: Rebecca Castleton Lupus Foundation of America - Utah Chapter 325 S. Denver Street Suite 101 Salt Lake City, Utah 84111 Phone: (801) 364-0366 National Tongan American Society Phone: (801) 558-4051 Contact: O. Fahina Pasi or Ivoni Nash Rheumatologists in Utah Salt Lake County Active Aging Program 2001 South State Street Phone: (385) 468-3083 Contact: Nichole Shepard The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital 5770 S. 300 E. Murray, Utah 84123 Phone: (801) 314-4100 Tooele County Aging and Adult services 59 E. Vine Street Tooele, Utah 84074 Phone: (435) 843-4104 Contact: Sherrie Ahlstrom, R.N. University of Utah Division of Rheumatology School of Medicine 30 N. 900 E. Room 4B200 SOM Salt Lake City, Utah 84132-0001 Phone: (801) 581-7724 University of Utah Clinics Phone: 435-843-3030 Contact: Emily Carlson Utah Area Agencies on Aging Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services Department of Human Resources 195 N. 1950 W. Salt Lake City, Utah Phone: (801) 538-3925 Contact: Charlotte Vincent Website: Utah Arthritis Program Bureau of Health Promotion P.O. Box 142107 Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-2107 Contact: Rebecca Castleton Phone: (801) 538-9340 Utah County Health Department Justice Building 151 S. University Ave. Provo, UT 84601 Contact: Patty Cross (801) 851-7528 or Courtney Rahm (801) 851-7095 pattyc@utah Utah Navajo Health System PO Box 130, East Hwy 262 Montezuma Creek, Utah 84534 Contact: Nick Fox Phone: (435) 678-3601 Utah Partnership for Healthy Weight 952 S. Denver Street Suite 300 Salt Lake City, Utah 84111 Phone: (801) 359-0840 Leon Hammond Weber Human Services AAA 237 26th Street Ogden, UT84401-3105 Phone: (801) 778-6834 Contact: Jesse Garcia Weber/Morgan Health Department 477 23rd Street Ogden, UT 84401 Phone: (801) 399-7100 Contact: Rochelle Creager 801-399-7187 or Megan Passey 801-399-7192
Page Content Updated On 10/21/2014, Published on 11/04/2014
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, 29 November 2015 23:11:46 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Tue, 28 Jul 2015 19:46:06 MDT