A public health approach to addressing arthritis in older adults: the most common cause of disability

Am J Public Health. 2012 Mar;102(3):426-33. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300423. Epub 2012 Jan 19.


Arthritis is highly prevalent and is the leading cause of disability among older adults in the United States owing to the aging of the population and increases in the prevalence of risk factors (e.g., obesity). Arthritis will play a large role in the health-related quality of life, functional independence, and disability of older adults in the upcoming decades. We have emphasized the role of the public health system in reducing the impact of this large and growing public health problem, and we have presented priority public health actions.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid* / drug therapy
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid* / epidemiology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid* / physiopathology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid* / prevention & control
  • Comorbidity
  • Cost of Illness
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Public Health Practice*
  • Public Policy
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Care
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult