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May is Arthritis Awareness Month.

The 2016 theme for the observance is “See Arthritis” ( ).

The theme is designed to raise awareness about the seriousness of arthritis by focusing on accounts from persons affected by the disease.

An estimated 52.5 million (22.7%) adults in the United States have self-reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis.

Of those, 22.7 million (9.8% of U.S. adults) have arthritis-attributable activity limitation (AAAL) (1).

Arthritis also commonly co-occurs with obesity, heart disease, and diabetes (1).

The prevalence of arthritis is projected to increase 49% to 78.4 million (25.9% of U.S. adults) by 2040, and the number of adults with AAAL is projected to increase 52% to 34.6 million (11.4% of U.S. adults) (2).

Arthritis and AAAL will remain large and growing problems for clinical and public health systems for many years to come. Clinicians and public health professionals might find these projections useful in planning for future clinical and public health needs, including health care utilization, workforce demands, and health policy development.

Information about arthritis and proven community-based programs that can help with managing arthritis is available at and
CDC et al. Prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation—United States, 2010–2012. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2013;62:869–73. PubMed
Hootman JM, Helmick CG, Barbour KE, Theis KA, Boring MA. Updated projected prevalence of self-reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation among US adults, 2015–2040. Arthritis Rheumatol 2016. Epub March 25, 2016. CrossRef PubMed
[Suggested citation for this article: Arthritis Awareness Month — May 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:489. Weekly / May 20, 2016 / 65(19);489; DOI: ]