World Arthritis Day is Coming Up and Just in Time

With statistics released yesterday revealing arthritis cases are expected to grow, The Arthritis Foundation reacts.

The already staggering social and economic impact of arthritis in the United States is set to explode during the coming decades, according to a CDC report published in the Oct. 8 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

“The report confirms arthritis is common, costly and disabling,” said Arthritis Foundation President and CEO Dr. John H. Klippel, in a press release. “The number of adults with arthritis has increased by nearly one million per year and it is impacting the usual activities of an unprecedented 21 million adults. Arthritis also carries a heavy financial burden, costing our economy $128 billion annually. We must as a nation begin to take arthritis seriously and make it unacceptable. With some 67 million Americans projected to have arthritis by 2030, now is the time to escalate efforts to prevent, treat and cure the most common cause of disability in the United States.”

“We know obesity leads to and worsens arthritis. The current high rates of obesity in the United States, along with the aging of the population, may be contributing to this increase in arthritis prevalence and associated activity limitations," said Jennifer Hootman, Ph.D., an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Arthritis Program, in a press release.

World Arthritis Day is scheduled for Oct. 12. The Arthritis Foundation is encouraging all Americans to "Do Blue," which includes anything from lighting up national landmarks in blue, like Niagara Falls, to wearing blue shoes and other apparel.

The foundation is launching several initiatives on World Arthritis Day as an extension of the Fight Arthritis Pain campaign launched in February. One of the events is the “Ask-the-Experts” Twitter Party. Here visitors can receive answers to questions about managing and treating osteoarthritis. The party will take place at 2 p.m. EDT on Oct. 12. Dr. Patience White of the Arthritis Foundation and Dr. Arthur Weinstein of Washington Hospital Center and Georgetown University Medical Center will answer questions in real time.

The Arthritis Foundation is the leading health organization addressing the needs of the 50 million adults and 300,000 children living with arthritis, the nation's most common cause of disability. The Foundation helps individuals take control of arthritis by providing public health education; pursuing public policy and legislation; supporting research and conducting evidence-based programs to improve the quality of life for those living with arthritis.

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How are you going to take part in World Arthritis Day?