Arthritis among veterans - United States, 2011-2013.
Arthritis is among the most common chronic conditions among veterans and is more prevalent among veterans than nonveterans. Contemporary population-based estimates of arthritis prevalence among veterans are needed because previous population-based studies predate the Persian Gulf War, were small, or studied men only despite the fact that women comprise an increasing proportion of military personnel and typically have a higher prevalence of arthritis than men. To address this knowledge gap, CDC analyzed combined 2011, 2012, and 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data among all adults aged ≥18 years, by veteran status, to estimate the total and sex-specific prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis overall and by sociodemographic categories, and the state-specific prevalence (overall and sex-specific) of doctor-diagnosed arthritis. This report summarizes the results of these analyses, which found that one in four veterans reported that they had arthritis (25.6%) and that prevalence was higher among veterans than nonveterans across most sociodemographic categories, including sex (prevalence among male and female veterans was 25.0% and 31.3%, respectively). State-specific, age-standardized arthritis prevalence among veterans ranged from 18.8% in Hawaii to 32.7% in West Virginia. Veterans comprise a large and important target group for reducing the growing burden of arthritis. Those interested in veterans' health can help to improve the quality of life of veterans by ensuring that they have access to affordable, evidence-based, physical activity and self-management education classes that reduce the adverse effects of arthritis (e.g., pain and depression) and its common comorbidities (e.g., heart disease and diabetes).
Murphy, LB; Helmick, CG; Allen, KD; Theis, KA; Baker, NA; Murray, GR; Qin, J; Hootman, JM; Brady, TJ; Barbour, KE; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
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