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Notice to Readers: National Arthritis Month --- May 2003

May is National Arthritis Month. Arthritis, chronic joint symptoms, and other rheumatic conditions are the leading cause of disability in the United States and affected approximately 70 million adults in 2001 (1,2). The theme for the month is "More Life, Less Limits," and the Arthritis Foundation will be urging persons to take a more active role in improving their joint health. By talking to a health-care provider, increasing physical activity, or losing weight, persons with arthritis can continue to live an active life with fewer limitations. CDC, the Arthritis Foundation, and other organizations continue to implement the National Arthritis Action Plan: A Public Health Strategy (3) to promote progress toward reaching the arthritis-related national health objectives for 2010 (objective 2.1--2.8) (4).

Additional information about arthritis, National Arthritis Month, the National Arthritis Action Plan, and local arthritis programs and services is available from the Arthritis Foundation, telephone 800-283-7800, or at


  1. CDC. Prevalence of disabilities and associated health conditions among adults---United States, 1999. MMWR 2001;50:120--5.
  2. CDC. Prevalence of self-reported arthritis or chronic joint symptoms among adults---United States, 2001. MMWR 2002:51;948--50.
  3. Arthritis Foundation, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, CDC. National Arthritis Action Plan: A Public Health Strategy. Atlanta, Georgia: Arthritis Foundation, 1999.
  4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy people 2010 (conference ed., 2 vols). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2000.

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