Health Disparity Statistics
Health disparities are preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by populations that have been socially, economically, geographically, and environmentally disadvantaged. Reducing health disparities is a major goal of public health. Achieving health equity, eliminating disparities, and improving the health of all US population groups is a goal that cuts across CDC programs.
Reasons for racial/ethnic disparities in arthritis and arthritis activity limitations (AAL) are unknown and merit further investigation. They may be related to social determinants of health, such as health care access, use of health care services, language barriers, differences in the prevalence of risk factors for arthritis and related disability (e.g., obesity, physically demanding jobs).2
To address racial/ethnic disparities in arthritis and AAL public health interventions should address the conditions that place specific racial/ethnic groups of US adults at higher risk. This includes intentional outreach to disproportionately affected groups, enhancing clinical and community linkages, and disseminating evidenced-based public health interventions for arthritis and other chronic diseases groups at higher risk of arthritis and AAL.1
The following age-adjusted prevalence data are from the most recent, published analysis of racial/ethnic differences using 3 years (2016, 2017, 2018) of data from the National Health Interview Survey, a nationally representative annual health survey conducted by CDC.¹
Prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis: 23.2%.
Prevalence of arthritis-attributable activity limitations among adults with arthritis: 39.3%.
African American/Black, non-Hispanic
Prevalence of arthritis: 21.8%.
Prevalence of activity limitations among adults with arthritis: 43.2%.
Prevalence of arthritis: 16.4%.
Prevalence of activity limitations among adults with arthritis: 43.4%.
Prevalence of arthritis: 12.2%.
Prevalence of activity limitations among adults with arthritis: 42.8%.
Multi Race, non-Hispanic
Prevalence of arthritis: 26.9%.
Prevalence of activity limitations among adults with arthritis: 54.2%.
American Indian/Alaska Native
Prevalence of arthritis: 26.8%.
Prevalence of activity limitations among adults with arthritis: 58.9%.
- Theis KA, Murphy LB, Guglielmo D, et al. Prevalence of arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation — United States, 2016–2018. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2021;70:1401–1407. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7040a2external icon [external link]
- Bolen J, Schieb L, Hootman JM, et al. Differences in the prevalence and severity of arthritis among racial/ethnic groups in the United States, National Health Interview Survey, 2002, 2003, and 2006. Prev Chronic Dis. 2010;7(3):A64.