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PHOM Indicator Report of Arthritis Prevalence

Why Is This Important?

Arthritis affects 50 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 (2007-2009) indicated that 9.4 percent of adults 18 and older (21.1 million or 42.4% of those with arthritis) had arthritis attributable activity limitation, and 8.2 million working-age (18-64 years) U.S. adults report work limitations due to arthritis or joint symptoms.

Age-adjusted Percentage of Adults With Arthritis by Race, Utah, 2012

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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. Age-adjusted rates are based on three age groups: 18-34, 35-49, and 50+.

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 graph is based on the new methodology.

*Use caution in interpreting the estimate for Pacific Islanders. The estimate has a coefficient of variation >30% and is therefore deemed unreliable by Utah Department of Health standards.

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.

How Are We Doing?

In 2012, 20.0 percent of Utah adults reported having arthritis. Arthritis prevalence ranged from 5.1 percent among persons ages 18-34 to 51.8 percent among persons ages 65 and older. Rates were higher for women in every age group.

The age-adjusted prevalence of arthritis for 2012 in Utah's Local Health Districts ranged from a low of 14.1 percent in Summit County Health District, to a high of 29.3 percent in the Central Utah 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.

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: 10/29/2013

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 Fri, 31 October 2014 19:42:05 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Tue, 19 Nov 2013 23:09:24 MST