Research/studies Worker health and wellness

Arthritis may harm work, social life: study


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Atlanta – Adults who suffer from arthritis and other chronic health conditions may be more likely to miss work and have difficulty socializing, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers analyzed data from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey and found that the percentage of adults with two or more chronic health conditions increased to 25.5 percent in 2012 from 21.8 percent in 2001. Chronic health conditions included arthritis, hypertension, heart diseases, diabetes, cancer and asthma.

Arthritis proved to be particularly problematic when combined with other chronic health conditions. For example, 6.3 percent of adults with two or more non-arthritis conditions reported that their social participation was restricted because of their ailments. That figure increased to 10.4 percent when arthritis was one of the conditions involved.

Researchers also found that 30.7 percent of adults with multiple health conditions including arthritis had a work disability, compared with 22.5 percent of adults with multiple health conditions but no arthritis.

The findings highlight the importance of public health interventions that encourage physical activity, education and appropriate weight loss, researchers said.

The study was published June 4 in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.