Better, but still plenty of room for improvement—that’s the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) take on a recent analysis of the rate at which health care providers are counseling patients with arthritis to engage in physical activity (PA). The good news: the percentage of individuals with arthritis who received provider counseling for exercise grew by 17.6% between 2002 and 2014. The bad news: even after that growth, nearly 4 in 10 patients with arthritis still aren’t receiving any information from their providers on the benefits of PA.
The CDC analysis, which appeared in a recent edition of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, uses data from the National Health Interview Survey gathered in 2002 and 2014. In those years, the survey included a question on whether respondents had been told they have “arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia,” as well as a question asking whether “a doctor or other health professional [has] ever suggested physical activity or exercise to help your arthritis or joint symptoms?”
As if the prevalence of arthritis in more than 1 and 5 Americans isn’t challenging enough, now comes information that breaks down statistics at the county level to find that prevalence is very uneven across the US, with rates as low as 15.8% in some counties and more than 33% in others.
The new statistics are part of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report set for release on May 20. That report describes the results of a detailed study of the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a survey of 464,444 noninstitutionalized adults across the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US territories.
Researchers analyzed the prevalence rates for respondents who answered “yes” to the question “have you ever been told by a doctor or other health professional that you have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia?” and found that the overall prevalence rate for US adults is 22.7%.