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>50% of Arthritis Sufferers Not Being Treated

J Clin Rheumatol; ePub 2018 Sep 18; Theis, et al

>50% of US adults aged ≥45 years with arthritis were not currently being treated for it, a recent study found. Furthermore, substantial proportions of this population experience severe symptoms and poor physical function and may benefit from clinical management and guidance, complemented by community-delivered public health interventions (ie, self-management education, physical activity). Individuals with no current treatment (NCT) were identified by “no” to “Are you currently being treated by a doctor or other health professional for arthritis or joint symptoms?” Demographics, current symptoms, physical functioning, arthritis limitations and interference in life activities, and level of agreement with treatment and attitude statements were assessed in this cross-sectional, descriptive study of those aged ≥45 years with self-reported, doctor-diagnosed arthritis (n=1,793). Researchers also found:

  • 52% of the study population reported NCT (n=920).
  • Of those with NCT, 27% reported fair/poor health, 40% reported being limited by their arthritis, 51% had daily arthritis pain, 59% reported ≥2 symptomatic joints, and 19% reported the lowest third of physical functioning.
  • Despite NCT, 83% with NCT agreed or strongly agreed with the importance of seeing a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Theis KA, Brady TJ, Sacks JJ. Where have all the patients gone? Profile of US adults who report doctor-diagnosed arthritis but are not being treated. [Published online ahead of print September 18, 2018]. J Clin Rheumatol. doi:10.1097/RHU.0000000000000896.

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