ATLANTA, GA — Arthritis causes more pain and limitations for African-Americans and Hispanics than for
whites, according to a study released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
African-Americans were 17 percent less likely to report having arthritis than whites, and Hispanics were 46 percent less likely to
report the condition than whites, the study said. However, African-Americans and Hispanics with arthritis were almost twice as
likely to report severe joint pain and work limitations attributed to their arthritis when compared to whites, it said.
The study, “Difference in the Prevalence and Impact of Arthritis among Racial/Ethnic Groups,” was published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.
Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States,
affecting 1 in 5 adults. It interferes with work and other daily
activities and can complicate the management of other chronic
diseases. Arthritis encompasses more than 100 diseases and conditions
that affect joints and other connective tissue.
The reason for the racial and ethnic differences, while unknown, may
result from a lack of access to health care, language barriers and
cultural differences, the report says.
“We must address these stark differences in arthritis impact by using
what we know,” said Jennifer Hootman, an epidemiologist for the CDC
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
and co-author of the report. “We can educate those with arthritis
about increasing physical activity and self-management and reducing
obesity, especially those in groups bearing a disproportionate burden
The data, collected from the CDC National Health Interview Survey, are
the first to estimate the national prevalence of arthritis and assess
its impact among smaller racial and ethnic groups that are usually
grouped together when reporting health statistics