In 2006, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 21.6% of the US adult population reported arthritis, with significantly higher prevalence in women than in men (24.4% vs. 18.1%). Arthritis prevalence increased with age and was higher among women than men in every age group.    With the aging of the US population, the prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis is expected to increase in the coming decades.   By 2030, it is estimated that 67 million adults age 18 and older will have arthritis, compared with the current 46 million.  Also, by 2030 an estimated 25 million adults will report arthritis-attributable activity limitations.

Functional limitations in routine activities are common among adults with arthrtis:   40% report it is "very difficult" or they "cannot do" at least 1 of 9 important daily functions which include their ability to stoop, bend, grasp, kneel or walk 1/4 mile.  Obesity is a known risk factor for the progression of knee osteoarthritis and possibly of other joints.   Reducing body weight may result in significant improvement in the health-related quality of life of people with arthritis.

Although physical activity and exercise have been shown to benefit people with arthritis by improving pain control, function, and mental health, many people with arthritis report no leisure time physical activity. Low levels of physical activity place individuals with arthritis at further risk of inactivity-associated conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and functional limitations.

Some interesting research is currently taking place at Northwestern U. that is looking at knee alignment and its role in progression of knee osteoarthritis that could lead to earlier and novel interventions that could decrease or prevent arthritic disability in the future.  Many Illinois women who are part of the Illinois Women's Health Registry are participating in those studies.

In the meantime, women (and men) who have arthritis could benefit from keeping their weight down and keeping physically active!!!   As we age, it is even more important that we develop a lifestyle that includes healthy eating and exercise.



"many people with arthritis report no leisure time physical activity" It is important to choose a leisure activity that does not impose impact on the joints. Impact on arthritic joints, particularly hips, knees, and ankles, just causes more damage and increases the pain. Cycling and swimming are suitable exercises and water aerobics is especially helpful,as the water supports the muscles and allows a greater degree of movement with less pain. The aerobic effect is also a benefit to overall health amd wellness

Thank you for this article. Really helpful for my mother's health

As you rightly mention weight is one variable that has a big effect on the development and progression of osteoarthritis. Walking leads to forces the equivalent of 3 times body weight going through the knee. Running is around 5 x body weight and jumping brings it up to 7. Every pound lost (or gained) therefore has an amplified effect on force transmission through the knee.

This is a most unfortunate trend. My family has a history of arthritis and I have first hand knowledge of the physical hurdles they deal with in an effort to lose weight which can lead to other illnesses mentioned here, diabetes being one that is common in our family. And yes, the majority of these family members are women. Is there a general exercise guideline that arthritis sufferers can incorporate that would at a minimum lessen the pain levels and increase their mobility?

The research at Northwestern University, which looks at the correlation between the alignment of the knee and its role in the progression of knee osteodegenerative arthritis, is a subject that has been recently researched in Europe. A link has been shown to exist between joint motion and the resulting wear patterns within that joint. Specifically, if the knee is mal-aligned, its cartilaginous caps will wear unevenly. This is analogous to a mal-alignment within the suspension system of a car, which can lead to uneven tire wear. Given this novel viewpoint in research, that is; function determining structure, the question that must be answered is: what is the initial cause of the joint mal-alignment? Approximately ten years ago, I published on two previously unrecognized embryological foot structures that I linked to mal- alignments within the knee joint. Several of my published studies suggested that these two foot structures (known as Primus Metatarsus Supinatus and the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity) if left untreated, result in osteodegenerative arthritis in the knees.

Is the increase in risk for oesteoarthritis for overweight people because of the heavier load their joints must carry, or is it something else? Another article on this blog mentioned cytokines might possibly affect cognitive functioning - could there be another hormone being released causing a similar problem for arthritis sufferers?

The problem is that arthritis usually doesn't manifest itself until it is too late to take measures. Preventative measures such as an active lifestyle need to be more heavily promoted - especially to the 'video game generation'.

it is alarming to see the rate at which our population is getting affected with arthritis. The emphasis should be on healthy lifestyle with sufficient leisure time activities and organic diet. Unless people realize now that sedentary lifestyle is going to cripple our generation slowly, we may be too late to stop millions suffering in the near future.

I found this article to be very Helpful Thank You. My mother has really Bad arthritis. I believe that its a possible case of inflammation between the joints. Thanks for the Tips, i will also eat healthier and be more active.

There are nonetheless some that insist on excusing their selves in practice routines on account of they do not simply have time or they have much much less energy than ever before therefore it is to my dismay to see the rate at which our civilization getting affected with this disease!Importantly emphasis must be on an alternative healthy way of life with enough leisure time actions and natural diet that even a nutritionist can agree with. Until people notice now a way of life is going to cripple this generation slowly. I have seen how "slow" some people walk and live their day to day lives in the "School Zone" meaning- that for them everything is slow! We ought to return to natural grown foods and cut out the processed foods that can create allot of problems for our future generations!

I would guess that the reason women suffer more than men is because "a man can work from sun to sun, but a women's work is never done!" And women take care of men, but who takes care of them?

"women (and men) who have arthritis could benefit from keeping their weight down and keeping physically active!!! As we age, it is even more important that we develop a lifestyle that includes healthy eating and exercise." This is very informative for baby boomers.

"Arthritic Knee sufferer" is right about including good healthy food to eat along with exercise.

Exercise and having a somewhat-active lifestyle works wonders in preventing arthritis. I don't know a whole lot of folks who have active lifestyles suffer from arthritis. Great post, Sharon!

I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well. Thanks for sharing this information.And I’ll love to read your next post too. EDITOR's NOTE: You can request all our blogs be sent to you email on the front page of our blog

I always thought that there was a higher prevalence of women over men with arthritis. The future predictions are scary

Government Health Officials should look into this prevalent and increasing health issue, and families should encourage the children to involve in sports activities and exercise.

It's a real informative post. It states that overweight really is a big problem. Overweight is responsible for many diseases. By having a healthy lifestyle you can avoid a lot diseases. Regarding to the statistics we all know that we have big problems to solve in the coming decades. We all have to think about our own responsibility for a healthy body