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PHOM Indicator Profile Report of Arthritis Prevalence

Why Is This Important?

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 2017, the percent of Utah adults age 18 and older with arthritis was 19.3 percent (crude rate). This represents approximately 419,800 individuals based on the estimated Utah population 18 and older for 2017.

Prevalence of Arthritis, Utah and U.S., 2011-2017

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confidence limits
Utah consistently has a lower prevalence of arthritis when compared to the United States.

Data Sources

  • Utah Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Office of Public Health Assessment, Utah Department of Health
  • U.S. Data: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Division of Behavioral Surveillance, CDC Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services

Data Notes

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. Age-adjusted rates are based on 5 age groups: 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-64, and 65+.

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 and smoking are also risk factors. 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?

Roughly one in every five Utah adults have reported having arthritis over the past several years. As people age, the likelihood of having arthritis increases. For example, 4.7 percent of adults aged 18-34 reported having arthritis whereas one in every two (49.2 percent) adults 65 years and older reported having arthritis (combined years 2015-2017). As the older adult population increases in the coming years, the prevalence of arthritis is also projected to increase. Women 65 years and older were the most likely to have arthritis with 55.5 percent reporting arthritis. This was significantly greater than the rate for men of the same age (42.0 percent). Women were more likely to have arthritis for all age groups. Other groups that were less likely to have arthritis included 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. Arthritis prevalence also differed by geographic location. The age-adjusted prevalence of arthritis (combined years 2015-2017) in Utah's Local Health Districts ranged from a low of 17.2 percent in Wasatch County Health District to a high of 28.9 percent in Tooele County Health District. Health districts with rates lower than the state rate included Wasatch County, Utah County, and Salt Lake County. Health districts with rates higher than the state rate included Weber-Morgan, Central Utah, Southeast Utah, Davis County, and Tooele County. The rest of the health districts had rates that were considered the same as the state rate.

What Is Being Done?

The Utah Arthritis Program focuses on measuring the occurrence of arthritis in Utah, increasing arthritis awareness and educational opportunities, and promoting participation in programs proven to help persons with arthritis, pain, and other chronic conditions. Additionally, the Utah Arthritis Program supports health systems, clinics, and physicians use strategies and resources that support healthcare provider-patient counseling to increase physical activity and referrals to the evidence-based workshops and exercise classes [ proven] to help patients improve their mental and physical health. Physicians can use the [ Living Well physician portal] to refer patients to the evidence-based classes.

Healthy People Objective: 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: 11/26/2018

Other Views

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 Sat, 17 August 2019 21:29:38 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Thu, 20 Jun 2019 13:03:27 MDT