-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- A new study helps confirm
what many Americans with arthritis may already know: the illness
can greatly diminish quality of life.
Researchers analyzed data from 1 million adults who took part in
the national Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey in
2003, 2005 and 2007. Poor or fair health was reported by 27 percent
of respondents with arthritis compared to 12 percent of those
Compared to other adults, those with arthritis had a higher
average number of physically unhealthy days per month (seven versus
three), mentally unhealthy days (five versus three), total
unhealthy days (10 versus five) and activity-limited days (four
versus one), according to the report published online April 28 in
Arthritis Care & Research.
The study also found that people with arthritis-related
limitations to normal activities had poorer health-related quality
of life than those without such limitations.
Values for all five measures of health-related quality of life
were two to three times worse in adults with arthritis compared to
those who were arthritis-free. The five measures included:
demographics (age, sex, ethnicity/race); social factors (employment
status, education and income levels); health care factors (access
and cost barriers to obtaining care); health behaviors (smoking,
alcohol use, physical activity levels); and health conditions
(diabetes, weight, high blood pressure).
Low family income, inability to work, being unable to afford
care and having diabetes were all strongly associated with poor
health-related quality of life, Sylvia Furner, of the School of
Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and
In addition, adults with arthritis who were physically active
were less likely to report fair or poor health, the study authors
"Given the projected high prevalence of arthritis in the U.S., interventions should address both physical and mental health," Furner concluded. "Increasing physical activity, reducing [co-existing disorders], and increasing access to health care could improve the quality of life for adults with arthritis," she explained in a journal news release.
About 50 million American adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis
and that number could climb to 67 million by 2030, according to the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and
Skin Diseases has more about
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