Number of persons with Arthritis or Chronic Joint symptoms could double by 2030
The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) (MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep May 30, 2003) is a state-based, randomly dialed telephone survey of the U.S. civilian, noninstitutionalized population aged >18 years. According to the Center for Disease Control, data from the 2001 BRFSS projects that by the year 2030, the number of persons aged > 65 years who have arthritis or chronic joint symptoms (CJS) will nearly double. During 2005 through 2030, the percentage of the U.S. population aged >65 years is expected to increase from 12.9% to 20.0%. If prevalence rates remain stable, the number of persons aged >65 years projected to have arthritis or CJS will nearly double, from 21.4 million in 2005 to 41.1 million in 2030.
Although survey data of this nature has limitations, if correct, the implication and impact of these projections on our public health system and economy will be astounding. Planning and specific interventions toward persons at highest risk are necessary.