Health

Arthritis Awareness Month

Every month is Arthritis Awareness Month if you live with a form of arthritis, but for everyone else, May is the month for talking about different forms of arthritis, arthritis symptoms, what living with arthritis is like, and more. I’ve written a lot about arthritis over the years on this blog, and I talk a lot about it on social media, but I did want to write a specific post for Arthritis Awareness Month. Read on for statistics, facts, and resources.

All posts about arthritis

Boston lifestyle blogger and rheumatoid arthritis patient Kate the (Almost) Great shares facts and statistics for arthritis awareness month, as well as resources for patients and their loved ones.

Arthritis Awareness Month: Arthritis Statistics & Facts

54.4 million Americans have doctor-diagnosed arthritis, which is more than 1 in 4 (x). I phrase it that way because there are so many out there who haven’t been diagnosed yet.

Over 300,000 kids have arthritis (x). And that number is probably low; I would love to know the statistics on who is diagnosed at age 18 or 19. Most people have had symptoms for a while, if not years like me, so how many are diagnosed when they’re an adult but began having symptoms when they were a kid?

Arthritis refers to over 100 different conditions and illnesses (x). This includes Still’s disease, juvenile arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis (which is what most people think of when they think of arthritis) (x).

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States (x).

Arthritis is the 2nd leading cause of honorable discharge from the US army (behind combat injury). This is generally osteoarthritis, and a cohort of Army doctors who examined 450 soldiers found unfit for continued service found that 25% of them had traumatic arthritis (x). In this study, there were 292 injuries among all of the soldiers involving bones and joints, and half of those were discharged because of osteoarthritis.

Did you know that 300,000+ kids have arthritis? #arthritisawarenessmonth Click To Tweet

Many people (like myself) have autoimmune arthritis – This means their arthritis is an autoimmune disease; the immune system attacks the joints and sometimes the organs (x). To deal with this, we take immunosuppressant medications because the immune system is the problem.

What is the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis? | My Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment + How I Got There

Arthritis and other non-traumatic joint disorders are among the five most costly conditions among adults 18 and older (x). To people who live with it, that isn’t surprising at all. I take so many medications, not to mention doctor’s appointments, chiropractor appointments, physical therapy appointments, gym membership, etc.

The cost of chronic illness

26% of women have doctor-diagnosed arthritis, as well as 19% of men (x). In the demographics of some forms of arthritis, there are more female patients than male. (Unfortunately, I can’t find statistics including transgender and non-binary people, which would give us even more information.)

10 things I wish I knew when I received my rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis

By 2040, 78 million Americans will have doctor-diagnosed arthritis (x). Statistically, you or someone you love will have arthritis. (Statistically, you probably already know an arthritis patient.)

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Arthritis Awareness Month: Resources

Arthritis Foundation – The Arthritis Foundation works to “lead the fight for the arthritis community through life-changing information and resources, access to optimal care, advancements in science and community connections” (x). They work on legal things, federal and state, as well as trying to fund research. They also, as you can tell from that quote, work on maintaining a community of arthritis patients, families, researchers, lawmakers, and more. They have a variety of conferences for patients, juvenile patients and their families, and advocates (of all ages). Their website has information about arthritis, living with arthritis, and more.

Arthritis National Research Foundation – The ANRF (who you might recognize from their motto “Cure Arthritis”) focuses entirely on funding arthritis research, although they also use their social media to do some awareness work, as well. Their website has a lot of information on the research they fund/have funded.

Resources for arthritis patients and their families Click To Tweet

Arthritis Society (Canadian!) – My understanding is that this is essentially Canada’s Arthritis Foundation. According to their website, “With funding, the Arthritis Society develops and disseminates evidence-based information and education with the goal of improving quality of life for people living with arthritis and invests in scientific discovery as Canada’s largest source of charitable research funding in arthritis” (x). They work on research, community-building, funding educational programs for professionals, and more.

CreakyJoints – This is an online patient community for arthritis patients founded by an arthritis patient! “Today, more than 100,000 people with all forms of arthritis and their families have been touched by CreakyJoints with meaningful support, updates and education, innovative advocacy and global research projects” (x). They provide resources on insurance, pain management, arthritis-friendly diet, signing up for clinical trials, and more. Plus, they provide support group resources and #CreakyChats, a monthly Twitter chat.

My blog posts about arthritis

Note: please do not comment with your “miracle supplement” or saying that I just need to be more positive or whatever. I am not asking for your medical advice (and all of that is super unhelpful and kind of rude). I am sharing facts about a very serious disease, not looking for unsolicited advice.

How are you spending this Arthritis Awareness Month?

Like this post? Check out:

Caring for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients, Chronic Illness and Mental Health, Helping Someone with RA, A Guide to Chronic Illness for Those Who Don’t Have one

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