Skip directly to searchSkip directly to the site navigationSkip directly to the page's main content


Arthritis includes more than 100 different rheumatic diseases and conditions, the most common of which is osteoarthritis. Other forms of arthritis that occur often are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, and gout. Symptoms include pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling in or around the joints. Some forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, can affect multiple organs and cause widespread symptoms.

Arthritis is more common among adults aged 65 years or older, but people of all ages (including children) can be affected. Nearly two-thirds of people with arthritis are younger than 65. Arthritis is more common among women (26%) than men (19%) in every age group, and it affects members of all racial and ethnic groups. Arthritis is also more common among adults who are obese than among those who are normal weight or underweight.
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.
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.

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.
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.
Learning techniques to reduce pain and limitations can be beneficial to people with arthritis. Self-management education workshops can help individuals gain control of their pain by teaching them easy ways to reduce pain and limitations. Topics include ways to reduce pain, benefits of exercise and how to exercise safely, how to do more and move more easily, and how to gain control over arthritis.

Just 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week can help reduce joint pain and improve the ability to move in just four to six weeks. People can even break exercise into three, 10-minute increments throughout the day for the same impact.
Surveillance at the state level is essential for assessing the burden of arthritis, describing how arthritis affects various sub populations, monitoring trends over time, and decision making for targeting interventions, allocating resources, and shaping state health policy.

The BRFSS survey is the only source for tracking arthritis prevalence. Starting in 2012, the BRFSS began offering data using the arthritis case definition question in both even and odd years. It is offered in the Chronic Health Conditions Core section of the questionnaire. In odd numbered years the "Burden Questions" appear in the BRFSS core and the Arthritis Management Questions appear in an optional module.
  • The National Arthritis Action Plan (NAAP) (1999) was developed by the Arthritis Foundation, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and CDC in collaboration with a wide variety of public and private partners.
  • A National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis (OA Agenda) (2010) was developed by more than 70 stakeholders following a call-to-action led by the Arthritis Foundation and CDC.
  • Managing Arthritis: Improving Lives — (National Conference of State Legislatures Legisbrief. Briefing Papers on Important Issues of the Day. June-July 2011, Vol. 19, No. 30.)

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 Thu, 20 June 2019 15:54:08 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Mon, 10 Dec 2018 21:46:50 MST