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Announcements: National Arthritis Month --- May 2010

May is National Arthritis Month. Arthritis affects 46 million adults (1), costs approximately $128 billion a year (2), and is the most common cause of disability in the United States (3). By 2030, an estimated 67 million persons (approximately one in four U.S. adults) are expected to be affected by arthritis (4).

This year's National Arthritis Month theme, Moving is the Best Medicine, highlights the importance of physical activity for decreasing arthritis pain (additional information at CDC provides funds to 12 state health departments to promote the adoption and expanded use of proven and safe arthritis exercise programs such as the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, EnhanceFitness, and Fit & Strong!

In February 2010, A National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis, which addresses the most common type of arthritis, was released (5). A collaborative effort of CDC, the Arthritis Foundation, and approximately 70 other organizations, the report outlines public health priorities for osteoarthritis for the next 3--5 years. The report also endorses expansion of community-based physical activity programs for adults with arthritis.

Information for public health professionals regarding arthritis, including data and interventions, is available at Additional information is available from the Arthritis Foundation ( and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (


  1. CDC. Prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation---United States, 2003--2005. MMWR 2006;55:1089--92.
  2. CDC. National and state medical expenditures and lost earnings attributable to arthritis and other rheumatic conditions---United States, 2003. MMWR 2007;56:4--7.
  3. CDC. Prevalence and most common causes of disability among adults---United States, 2005. MMWR 2009;58:421--6.
  4. Hootman JM, Helmick CG. Projections of US prevalence of arthritis and associated activity limitations. Arthritis Rheum 2006;54:226--9.
  5. Arthritis Foundation, CDC. A national public health agenda for osteoarthritis. Atlanta, GA: Arthritis Foundation; 2010. Available at Accessed April 26, 2010.

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