Arthritis affects more than 22 percent of American adults, according to a new report released on Thursday from the Centers of Disease Control’s (CDC's) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The number of adult self-reported, doctor-diagnosed arthritis cases in the United States has risen to 50 million between 2007 and 2009, up from 46 million in 2003 and 2005.
The condition, which targets joints in the body and is the leading cause of disability among adults, continues to hit women and obese people the hardest.
About 24 percent of American women 18 years and older have arthritis, compared to 18.2 percent of adult men.
Those adults who are overweight or obese have a greater chance of developing arthritis than those who have a normal weight or are underweight.
More than 29 percent of obese U.S. adults had arthritis, while less than 20 percent of normal or underweight adults had the condition.
The CDC called for community-based activism to combat arthritis, suggesting interventions that would educate those at risk for arthritis and help develop physical activity and weight-supervision plans with them.
“Health-care providers and public health organizations should work together to increase the availability of these interventions for persons with all types of arthritis,” the CDC said.