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Announcements: National Arthritis Action Month — May 2012

May is National Arthritis Action Month. Arthritis affects approximately 50 million U.S. adults (1) and continues to be the most common cause of disability in the United States (2). This year's theme for National Arthritis Action Month, "Change the Course of Arthritis," is aimed to increase awareness of the important things persons can do to live well despite having arthritis.

Existing public health interventions, especially in combination with appropriate clinical management, can reduce the impact of arthritis on persons' lives. Self-management education helps persons with arthritis gain control by teaching techniques to manage symptoms and reduce pain and activity limitations. Moderate physical activity (e.g., walking, biking, or swimming) for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week (or 150 minutes per week), reduces joint pain and stiffness in 4–6 weeks, and can be done in increments of as little as 10 minutes at a time (3). These interventions likewise help the many persons with arthritis who also have obesity, diabetes, or heart disease manage these conditions and improve their quality of life.

For persons with arthritis, evidence-based tools and interventions are available to minimize the impact of arthritis and increase their ability to live well. Information about these interventions is available at http://www.cdc.gov/arthritis. Additional information is available from the Arthritis Foundation (http://www.arthritis.org) and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (http://www.nih.gov/niams).

References

  1. CDC. Prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation—United States, 2007–2009. MMWR 2010;59:1261–5.
  2. CDC. Prevalence and most common causes of disability among adults—United States, 2005. MMWR 2009;58:421–6.
  3. US Department of Health and Human Services. Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee report, 2008. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services; 2008. Available at http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/committeereport.aspx. Accessed April 24, 2012.

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