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National Arthritis Month --- May 2006

May is National Arthritis Month. Arthritis affects persons of both sexes and all ages and races and is the most common cause of disability in the United States. The national prevalence of arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation are both projected to increase during the next 25 years.

Persons with arthritis can reduce the effects of the disease by staying physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting educated about arthritis self-management. To help persons with arthritis better manage their disease, the Arthritis Foundation offers community-based exercise classes (the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program and the Arthritis Foundation Aquatics Program) and self-management education classes (the Arthritis Foundation Self-Help Program), which can reduce pain and improve function and mental health among persons with arthritis.

The CDC Arthritis Program helps fund activities by 36 state arthritis programs to increase the quality of life among persons affected by arthritis by implementing recommendations in the National Arthritis Action Plan: A Public Health Strategy and promoting progress toward reaching the arthritis-related Healthy People 2010 objectives (objectives 2-1 through 2-8). The CDC Arthritis Program has developed and is using a physical activity awareness intervention (Physical Activity: The Arthritis Pain Reliever) and is developing a similar intervention for Spanish language speakers.

Additional information about arthritis as a public health problem is available at http://www.cdc.gov/arthritis. Information about arthritis and local arthritis programs and services is available from the Arthritis Foundation at http:// www.arthritis.org or by telephone at 800-568-4045.



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