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New Study Shows Arthritis Significantly Limits Millions of Americans' Ability to Work
Date:10/11/2007

The Arthritis Foundation Provides Information and Programs to Mitigate Impact of Arthritis on U.S. Workforce

ATLANTA, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released today shows arthritis limits millions of working Americans' productivity, activity or ability to work. State-specific data shows those reporting arthritis-related work limitations ranged from 25 percent in Nevada to 51 percent in Kentucky. The state median is 33 percent. These statistics come with a price tag as well. Another CDC study shows in 2003 state-specific earning losses due to arthritis ranged from $78 million to $4.3 billion. That same year, the total cost of arthritis to the United States economy was $128 billion.

A previously released CDC report also shows unemployment is higher in every state among people with arthritis. CDC anticipates the number of people with arthritis will significantly increase over the next few years, resulting in a loss of human resources and a greater economic impact across the country.

"Arthritis is the nation's most common cause of disability and limits activity for 19 million adults with the disease," says John H. Klippel, M.D., president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation. "With the projected increase of arthritis prevalence and growing number of Americans facing work-related challenges because of the disease, the Arthritis Foundation is increasing its commitment to improving the lives of people with arthritis."

"With 46 million Americans affected by arthritis, the numbers are overwhelming and the impact on the quality of life is clear," said Janet Collins, Ph.D., director, CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. "CDC is committed to building on efforts that improve the quality of life for all people with arthritis, including advancing strategies that reduce physical and functional limitations."

The Arthritis Foundation offers the following tips for preventing and managing arthritis:

-- Know Your Type -- With more than 100 different forms of arthritis,

each requiring a specific treatment plan, it's important to see your

doctor for an early and accurate diagnosis.

-- Modify Job Tasks -- Repeated use of joints in jobs that require

bending and lifting is associated with an increased risk of

developing osteoarthritis. Speak with a health care professional

about ways to reduce strain on your joints.

-- Get Active -- Regular physical activity helps build and maintain

healthy bones, muscles and joints. Walking as little as 30

minutes -- even 10 minutes three times a day -- can ease joint pain,

improve mobility and reduce fatigue. The Arthritis Foundation offers

joint-safe physical activity programs proven to decrease pain and

increase flexibility and range of motion.

-- Control Weight -- Maintaining an appropriate weight or reducing

weight to a recommended level reduces the risk of osteoarthritis.

Losing just 10 pounds relieves 40 pounds of pressure on knees, and

losing as little as 11 pounds may reduce joint pain and help prevent

knee osteoarthritis. For those living with symptoms, losing 15 pounds

can cut knee pain in half.

The Arthritis Foundation provides free copies of its "Arthritis in the Workplace" brochure, which includes tips for managing arthritis on the job. The brochure is available by calling the Arthritis Foundation at 1-800-283-7800 or visiting http://www.arthritis.org.

About the Arthritis Foundation

The Arthritis Foundation is the leading health organization addressing the needs of some 46 million Americans living with arthritis, the nation's most common cause of disability. Founded in 1948, with headquarters in Atlanta, the Arthritis Foundation has multiple service points located throughout the country.

The Arthritis Foundation is the largest private, not-for-profit contributor to arthritis research in the world, funding more than $380 million in research grants since 1948. The foundation helps individuals take control of arthritis by providing public health education; pursuing public policy and legislation; and conducting evidence-based programs to improve the quality of life for those living with arthritis. Information is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-283-7800 or http://www.arthritis.org.


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SOURCE Arthritis Foundation
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