Arthritis can worsen the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) for adults than for those without this condition, finds a study.
Both physical and mental healths are affected by arthritis, which poses a significant health and economic burden as the number of those diagnosed continues to climb.
In the present study, Sylvia Furner, of the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago and colleagues at CDC analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to compare HRQOL in U.S. adults with and without arthritis.
BRFSS is a telephone survey used by state health departments and CDC to collect HRQOL, demographic, and behavioral risk factor information from a representative sample of U.S. adults 18 years of age and older.
Questions related to arthritis are included in the annual survey in odd years, and the current study used data from 2003, 2005, 2007.
More than one million respondents were included in the analysis during the three-year study period.
Researchers found 27 pc of survey respondents with arthritis reported fair or poor health compared to 12 pc of those without arthritis.
The mean number of physically unhealthy days (7 vs.3), mentally unhealthy days (5 vs.3), total unhealthy days (10 vs.5), and activity-limited days (4 vs.1) was greater for individuals with arthritis than for those without.
Additionally, those with arthritis who experienced limitations to normal activities reported poorer HRQOL than individuals without arthritis-related restrictions.
"Our analysis showed that the values for all five measures of HRQOL were 2-3 times worse in those with arthritis compared to those without," said Furner.
Individuals who were physically active had significantly better HRQOL compared with those who were inactive. Furthermore, those who had arthritis and remained physically active were less likely to report fair or poor health.
"Given the projected high prevalence of arthritis in the U.S. interventions should address both physical health and mental health," said Furner.
"Increasing physical activity, reducing co-morbidities, and increasing access to healthcare could improve the quality of life for adults with arthritis," he added.
The study has been published in the Arthritis Care and Research.