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CDC: Older Adults With Arthritis To Double By 2030

  [ 165 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • June 11, 2003

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of older adults with arthritis will nearly double in the next few decades. Currently, 21 million adults aged 65 and older are affected by arthritis; the CDC projects that number will increase to 41.1 by 2030.

Arthritis already is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and costs the U.S. economy nearly $125 billion annually. Arthritis affects people of all ages, including 70 million adults and nearly 300,000 children. With people living longer than ever before, preventing and managing chronic and disabling conditions like arthritis has never been more important. The Arthritis Foundation is urging the public, especially baby boomers, to take control of their joint health NOW to prevent or minimize arthritis later in life.

"Many people wait to see a doctor because they think they are too young to have arthritis; however, the majority of Americans living with arthritis are under age 65," said John H. Klippel, M.D., medical director of the Arthritis Foundation. "Baby boomers are at prime risk; however, taking action now can help boomers avoid joint damage and disability, enabling them to live active lives with fewer limitations."

To maintain healthy joints, the Arthritis Foundation recommends the following:

* Lose weight. Research has shown that losing as little as 11 pounds may cut your risk of osteoarthritis of the knee by 50 percent.

* Take care of injuries. If something hurts, don't push yourself through the pain. You might make an injury worse. A knee or hip injury incurred as a middle-aged adult can dramatically increase the risk of developing knee or hip osteoarthritis.

* Bulk Up. Research shows lifting weights creates denser bones and builds stronger muscles that help stabilize and protect joints.

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