Did you know that arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the US? Or that this disease – which affects some 50 million Americans – has more than 100 different types?
May is Arthritis Awareness Month, a nationwide event sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation (AF) to raise awareness and funds. All across the country, Arthritis Walks will be held this month as part of the Let’s Move Together campaign, which encourages people everywhere to get moving to prevent or treat arthritis. That’s because walking is an easy, effective way to keep your joints mobile, lose weight and boost overall health.
Another way you can get involved is by honoring a loved one who is living with (or lived with) arthritis through Hope Through Heroes. Celebrate your father, mother or another important person in your life by sharing their inspirational story. Then email your tribute or memorial page to other friends and family, who can post their own testimonials and/or make donation in that person’s name.
Given that arthritis strikes 1 in 5 adults, you likely know someone with the condition. But you may not know how extensive it is. A common myth is that arthritis only occurs in old age. Yet two-thirds of those with arthritis are under the age of 65, and 300,000 of them are children with juvenile arthritis (JA). (JA itself has several subtypes, including polyarticular onset JA and systemic onset JA.)
At PatientsLikeMe, our rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) communities confirm that these two common forms of arthritis can affect people of all ages. For our 2,737 patients with RA, the most common age bracket is age 40-49. And amongst our 1,900 patients with OA, the 50-59 age bracket is the largest. Another key takeaway is that women are disproportionately affected (92% women vs. 8% men for our RA community, and 90% women vs. 10% men for our OA community).
Have you been diagnosed with a form of arthritis? Got questions for others like you? Chat with the 19,000+ members of our Muscles, Bones & Joints Room today.