Whites Have More, Less Severe, Arthritis

ATLANTA, April 15 (UPI) — Fewer African-Americans and Hispanics have arthritis than whites, but those who do have it more severely, U.S. health officials said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, released Thursday, said African-Americans were 17 percent less likely to report having arthritis than whites, while Hispanics were 46 percent less likely to report arthritis condition than whites.

“However, African-Americans and Hispanics with arthritis were almost twice as likely to report severe joint pain and work limitations attributed to their arthritis when compared to whites,” the report said.

The reason for the racial disparity is unclear, the report said.

Researchers used data from the CDC National Health Interview Survey.

Arthritis, which encompasses more than 100 diseases and conditions affecting joints and other connective tissue, affects 20 percent of U.S. adults and is the leading cause of disability.

“We must address these stark differences in arthritis impact by using what we know,” said study co-author Jennifer Hootman, an epidemiologist for the CDC National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and co-author of the report.

“We can educate those with arthritis about increasing physical activity and self-management and reducing obesity, especially those in groups bearing a disproportionate burden from arthritis.”

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