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Important Facts for Arthritis Prevalence


Arthritis includes over 100 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints, the tissues which surround the joint and other connective tissue. Common forms include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, and gout. Arthritis symptoms typically include pain and stiffness in and around one or more joints. Certain rheumatic conditions can also involve the immune system and various internal organs of the body. Although arthritis is more commonly seen in older adults, children are also affected.


Number of adults from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System who have been told by a 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 from the BRFSS survey should be considered representative of all non-institutionalized adults in households with telephones. Data were collected using a random sample of all possible telephone numbers. Prior to analysis, data were weighted to adjust for probability of selection of the household and the randomly selected adult and to represent the population distribution of adults by sex, age group, and area of residence. As with all surveys, some error results from sampling (i.e. collecting information from only a subset of the entire population), non-response (e.g., refusal to participate in the survey or to answer specific questions) and measurement (e.g., social desirability or recall bias). Error was minimized by use of strict calling protocols (up to 15 calls were made to each randomly selected household over day, evening, and weekend calling periods), good questionnaire design, standardization of interviewer behavior, interviewer training, and frequent, on-site interviewer monitoring and supervision.

Why Is This Important?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States. As the US population ages, the number of persons with arthritis is projected to increase to 67 million by 2030.

Other Objectives

The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) Arthritis Program received a 300% increase in arthritis funding for 2008-2012. The funding will expire in 2012, at which point the arthritis program will be reapplying. The main purpose of the funding is to reach at least 13,320 New Mexicans with arthritis with one of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) recommended evidence-based physical activity or self management programs.

How Are We Doing?

Rates of diagnosed arthritis among NM adults have remained stable throughout the timeframe 2003 to 2009, consistent with national trends.

How Do We Compare With U.S.?

New Mexico's percent of adults with arthritis is similar to the national median percent in 2009.

What Is Being Done?

The Department of Health assembled the New Mexico Arthritis Advisory Group (AAG) to heighten awareness of arthritis as a public health issue and affect broadbased policy change. The AAG is made up of community members with expertise in arthritis, leadership, planning, evaluation, public health, aging services, social marketing, communications strategies and policy development.

Additionally, the Arthritis Program is working with partners to expand evidence-based programs and interventions to improve quality of life for people affected with arthritis. In FY11, at least one Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) community workshop was delivered in English and Spanish in 10 of New Mexico's 33 counties. A total of 45 CDSMP community workshops were delivered. Four-hundred forty-six people participated in a CDSMP community workshop, and 352 participants completed four of the six sessions. Also delivered was the EnhanceFitness and the Arthritis Foundation's Self-Help and Exercise Programs. A total of 406 older adults participated in these self-management and physical activity programs.

Other Program Information

Chris Lucero, Program Manager
Arthritis Program

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 Thu, 05 March 2015 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Fri, 20 Feb 2015 11:51:12 MST