NACDD continues work to advance arthritis public health approaches

May is National Arthritis Awareness Month. Arthritis affects about 1 in 4 adults in the United States, or more than 54 million people. Arthritis is common among people with multiple chronic conditions. For example, among people with heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, the prevalence of arthritis was 49%, 47%, and 31%, respectively. Arthritis makes it more challenging to manage other conditions since people with arthritis are less likely to be physically active, and physical activity is an important management technique for chronic conditions.

“Arthritis,” which can also be framed as “musculoskeletal conditions,” is a top driver of employer medical costs. By implementing low cost, evidence-based, self-management programs like Walk With Ease, people with arthritis and other chronic conditions will experience increased balance and strength, reduced pain, and improved overall health. Leveraging Partnerships to Develop a Sustainable Approach to Increasing Adoption of Arthritis Appropriate, Evidence-Based Interventions with Employers is a “living” document that provides a step-by-step approach to engage employers as payers of Walk With Ease.

NACDD works with State Health Departments, national and regional partners, and community-based partners to continue working to advance arthritis public health approaches. Several success stories were recently added to the NACDD What’s Working in Chronic Disease Prevention and Control database that features the work of NACDD arthritis grantees. In addition, the NACDD General Member Webinar for March 2020 featured speakers from CDC, the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance, and Oregon Health Authority speaking on Chronic Pain, Arthritis, and the Opioid Crisis: A Public Health Perspective.

The National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis: 2020 Update was recently released by CDC, the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance and the Arthritis Foundation. This 2020 Update provides an outline of strategies to address osteoarthritis and a blueprint for action. It encourages the involvement of a variety of stakeholders including healthcare providers, decision-makers, marketing specialists, insurers, researchers, and more.

And finally, the Arthritis Foundation’s Live Yes! campaign features an online community, an INSIGHTS campaign that collects self-reported data, a virtual connect group, and more.

For more information on the efforts of the NACDD arthritis program, contact Heather Murphy at

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