Skip directly to searchSkip directly to the site navigationSkip directly to the page's main content

Important Facts for Arthritis Prevalence


The percentage of adults who have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia.


Number of adults from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System who have been told by a doctor, nurse, or other health professional that they have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia.


Number of adults from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

Data Interpretation Issues

Data for this indicator report are from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an ongoing survey of adults regarding their health-related behaviors, health conditions, and preventive services. Data are collected in all 50 states, D.C., and U.S. territories. Responses have been weighted to reflect the New Mexico adult population by age, sex, ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, education level, home ownership and type of phone ownership. The survey is conducted using scientific telephone survey methods for landline and cellular phones (with cellular since 2011). The landline phone portion of the survey excludes adults living in group quarters such as college dormitories, nursing homes, military barracks, and prisons. The cellular phone portion of the survey includes adult students living in college dormitories but excludes other group quarters. Beginning with 2011, the BRFSS updated its surveillance methods by adding in calls to cell phones and changing its weighting methods. These changes improve BRFSS' ability to take into account the increasing proportion of U.S. adults using only cellular telephones as well as to adjust survey data to improve the representativeness of the estimates generated from the survey. Results have been adjusted for the probability of selection of the respondent, and have been weighted to the adult population by age, gender, phone type, detailed race/ethnicity, renter/owner, education, marital status, and geographic area. Lastly and importantly, these changes mean that the data from years prior to 2011 are not directly comparable to data from 2011 and beyond. Please see the [ BRFSS Method Change Factsheet]. The "missing" and "don't know" responses are removed before calculating a percentage.

Why Is This Important?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)^1^, arthritis affects 1 in 5 adults and continues to be the most common cause of disability in the United States. Common arthritis symptoms of pain and stiffness are usually caused by degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis). Arthritis includes over 100 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints, the tissues which surround the joint and other connective tissue. Other forms include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, and gout. Certain rheumatic conditions can also involve auto-immune processes in which the body's immune system attacks joint tissue and various internal organs of the body. Although arthritis is more commonly seen in older adults, young and working age adults can also be affected. All of the human and economic costs are projected to increase over time as the population ages. [[br]][[br]] ---- {{class .SmallerFont # Centers for Disease Control and ''Prevention Healthy People 2020 Arthritis Overview''. Downloaded from [] on 1/21/2016. }}

Other Objectives

Similar to HP2020 objective AOCBC-2: Reduce the proportion of adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis who experience a limitation in activity due to arthritis or joint symptoms.

How Are We Doing?

Rates of diagnosed arthritis among NM adults have remained stable, consistent with national trends.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

New Mexico's percent of adults with arthritis is similar to the national median percent.

Evidence-based Practices

Interventions that can reduce arthritis pain and functional limitations include: * Increased physical activity * Self-management education * Weight loss among overweight/obese adults
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Mon, 30 May 2016 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Fri, 22 Jan 2016 16:49:57 MST