The Face of Arthritis
Arthritis affects about 22.3% or 365,000 adult Utahns. Over half (53.8%) of those with arthritis were overweight or obese., 25.6% of Utah adults with arthritis were physically inactive, compared to 15.9% of adults without arthritis. 35.9% of Utah adults with arthritis also report that they are limited in their usual activities. The prevalence of arthritis in the Hispanic population is 16.8%. Hispanics report more negative health consequences due to their arthritis than do non-Hispanic whites. They were twice as likely to report that pain limited their activities and were twice as likely to be inactive.
Risk Factors in Utah
The primary factors that can't be modified include older age, female gender, genetic predisposition, and ethnicity. In addition, other factors that may contribute to arthritis include: Lower levels of education, lower income, overweight and obesity, inactivity, joint injuries, infections and certain occupations.
What can I do?
If you think you have arthritis or have been told by your doctor that you have arthritis, the best advice is to learn as much as you can about the disease. Learn about treatment options, attend self management programs, participate in regular physical activity and maintain appropriate body weight to relieve your symptoms.
The Arthritis Foundation has trained teachers in our community. Contact your local Senior Citizens Center for dates and times of the exercise programs.