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Masters in Public Health CE Papers

Arthritis Prevalence and Disability Among Young to Early Middle Age Adults in the US: Findings from the 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Open Access (recommended)


Resource type(s)
Masters Thesis
Attribution 3.0 United States

Gilmore, Alison Rochell
Objective: This study profiles the prevalence of an arthritis diagnosis by key clinical and sociodemographic characteristics of the adult U.S. population age 18-55.Methods: The study included 195,822 respondents which represent an estimated 136.7 million residents of the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico. The 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BFRSS) data was used to compare self-reported physical activity, mental health and physical health between respondents with and without an arthritis diagnosis within three age groups, young adults (age 18-34 years), older young adults (age 35-44 years), and early middle age adults (age 45-54 years). We used logistic regression to test the significance of social, demographic and clinical factors associated with the likelihood of an arthritis diagnosis under age 55. We then compare young to early middle age adults who reported being diagnosed with arthritis by three levels of reported pain and by the degree to which they perceive that arthritis limits their functional, social and work lives. Results: Across all three age groups, adults with arthritis reported increased inactivity and poorer mental and physical health compared to age-matched controls without arthritis. Being diagnosed with arthritis before age 55 was strongly associated with having ever been diagnosed with a depressive disorder (OR:3.10), being obese (OR:2.06), and reporting the lowest household income level as compared with the highest (<$15,000 versus >$75,000, OR:2.26). Among respondents under age 55 with arthritis, being female, obese, reporting poor mental health, lower socioeconomic status, and minority race and ethnicity were all significantly associated with higher reported pain levels and greater arthritis-related functional, social, and work limitations.Conclusion: Arthritis prevalence and disability among adults under age 55 follows a steep social class gradient that is closely associated with mental health and obesity. These findings can guide targeted primary and secondary preventive interventions to encourage healthy weight and support mental health, with the goal of limiting the impact of the disease.
DigitalHub. Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center
Date Created
Subject: MESH
Disability Studies
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
Subject: Geographic Name
United States

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