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PHOM Indicator Report of Arthritis Prevalence

Why Is This Important?

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 Arthritis by Race, Utah, 2013

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Data Source

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

Data Notes

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.   `
Age-adjusted to the U.S. 2000 standard population for comparison purposes. Age-adjusted rates are based on three age groups: 18-34, 35-49, and 50+.

Risk Factors

The prevalence of arthritis increases with age. Females are more likely to report arthritis than males. White, non-Hispanic individuals are more likely to report arthritis than Hispanic persons. Being overweight or obese is also a risk factor. Specific genes are associated with a higher risk of certain types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematous (SLE), and ankylosing spondylitis.

Other risk factors include joint injuries, infection, and occupations that involve repetitive knee bending and squatting.

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.

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.

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

Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 10/21/2014

Other Views

The information provided above is from the Utah 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, 05 July 2015 1:47:18 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Tue, 4 Nov 2014 13:27:54 MST