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Notice to Readers: National Arthritis Month --- May 2007

May is National Arthritis Month. Arthritis affects approximately 46 million persons of both sexes and all ages and races, and is the most common physical cause of disability in the United States. The national prevalence of arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitations are both projected to increase substantially as the population ages.

This year's theme is Walk for Wellness, which is intended to remind those with arthritis that walking, a simple and readily available form of physical activity, is an effective but underused intervention for managing arthritis. Walking is a low-impact exercise appropriate for most persons with mild or moderate arthritis. Persons with arthritis also can reduce the impact of the disease by maintaining a healthy weight and pursuing education regarding arthritis self-management. To help those with arthritis better manage their disease, the Arthritis Foundation offers community-based exercise classes (through the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program and the Arthritis Foundation Aquatics Program) and self-management education classes (through the Arthritis Foundation Self-Help Program), both of which have reduced pain and improved function and mental health among persons with arthritis.

The CDC Arthritis Program helps fund 36 state arthritis programs designed to increase the quality of life among persons affected by arthritis by implementing recommendations in the National Arthritis Action Plan: A Public Health Strategy. The program also promotes progress toward reaching the arthritis-related Healthy People 2010 objectives. Additional information regarding public health and arthritis is available at Additional information regarding local arthritis programs and services is available from the Arthritis Foundation at or by telephone at 800-568-4045.

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Date last reviewed: 5/2/2007


Safer, Healthier People

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
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