Arthritis Awareness Month — May 2019

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Arthritis Awareness Month, led by the Arthritis Foundation (https://www.arthritis.orgexternal icon), is observed each May to bring attention to arthritis and its impact. Arthritis affects an estimated 54.4 million U.S. adults, or approximately one in four (1); and of these adults with arthritis, approximately 27% have severe joint pain (2). Arthritis also is linked to higher rates of physical inactivity (1).

A report in this issue of MMWR found that arthritis is more common among American Indian/Alaska Natives than among any other racial/ethnic group and is most prevalent in Appalachia and the Lower Mississippi Valley regions (3). Likewise, the report found that, in all states, severe joint pain and physical inactivity were common among adults with arthritis, but especially among those in southeastern states, and were most common among adults who were disabled or unable to work (3). Adults with arthritis and severe joint pain also were more likely to be physically inactive than those with no or mild to moderate joint pain (3) even though physical activity eases arthritis pain over time (1).* CDC supports evidence-based lifestyle management programs proven to help adults with arthritis to be physically active and improve their quality of life.


  1. Barbour KE, Helmick CG, Boring M, Brady TJ. Vital signs: prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation—United States, 2013–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:246–53. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  2. Barbour KE, Boring M, Helmick CG, Murphy LB, Qin J. Prevalence of severe joint pain among adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis—United States, 2002–2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:1052–6. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  3. Guglielmo D, Murphy LB, Boring MA, et al. State-specific severe joint pain and physical inactivity among adults with arthritis—United States, 2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;68:381–7.

Suggested citation for this article: Arthritis Awareness Month — May 2019. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;68:381. DOI: icon.

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