Did you know that arthritis consists of over 100 different specific diseases? Millions of Americans of all ages, from toddlers to twenty-somethings to the elderly, have some type of arthritis. In fact, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the U.S.
Nearly 19 million U.S. adults reported activity limitations because of arthritis each year during 2003–2005. Work limitations attributable to arthritis affect more than 5% of the general U.S. population and nearly 30% of people with arthritis. Each year, arthritis results in 750,000 hospitalizations and 36 million outpatient visits. Direct medical costs for arthritis were $81 billion in 2003. Arthritis is not just an old person’s disease. Nearly two-thirds of people with arthritis are younger than 65. Although arthritis affects children and people of all racial and ethnic groups, it is more common among women and older adults. (link)
The Arthritis Foundation's theme this year is "Walk Away From Arthritis". This month, local Arthritis Foundation chapters across the U.S. will be hosting Arthritis Walks to raise funds for local AF chapters that provide services to people with arthritis, promote arthritis research in their communities and raise awareness about arthritis.