CDC: Arthritis on rise, expected to increase 49% by 2040

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In Georgia, 23.1% to 25.7% suffer from arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. About 54 million adults in the United States have it.

That national number is growing, however, and a CDC study expects it to reach more than 78 million in 2040, an increase of almost 49%. About half of those are working age adults — 18 to 64 years.

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An estimated 34 million adults will be limited in their usual activities because of their arthritis in 2040, the CDC found, an increase of 52%.

As the number of people with arthritis increases, the need for special medical care also will grow. Experts in arthritis, such as rheumatologists and orthopedic surgeons, may be harder to find and more expensive. In addition, the CDC states, programs like Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare might be affected by the growing number of arthritis patients.

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If you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis, you can take steps to improve your health. The CDC recommends physical activity and self-management education programs to help you.

  • Be active: Physical activity decreases arthritis pain, improves your ability to do your usual activities and delays disability. It is recommended that people with arthritis be moderately physically active for 150 minutes per week. The CDC also recognizes physical activity programs that are proved to improve the quality of life of people with arthritis.
  • Learn new skills: Attending self-management education programs can help adults with arthritis learn ways to manage pain, reduce depression and frustration, and gain control of their arthritis. Learning these new skills to help you feel your best can increase your confidence to manage arthritis and other conditions daily, the CDC states. Using these skills can make it easier to age well with arthritis and thrive.
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