Male, female veterans have increased prevalence of arthritis

Male, female veterans have increased prevalence of arthritis

Male and female veterans have a higher prevalence of arthritis than nonveterans, according to research published in the Nov. 10 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Elizabeth A. Fallon, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed pooled data from the 2017 to 2021 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to estimate the prevalence of diagnosed arthritis among veterans and nonveterans.

The researchers found that about one-third of veterans had diagnosed arthritis (unadjusted prevalence, 34.7 and 31.9 percent among men and women, respectively). Among men aged 18 to 44 years, the prevalence of arthritis was double for veterans versus nonveterans (prevalence ratio, 2.1), while among men aged 45 to 64 years, the prevalence was 30 percent higher among veterans (prevalence ratio, 1.3). The corresponding prevalence ratios for veterans versus nonveterans among women aged 18 to 44 and 45 to 64 years were 1.6 and 1.2.

“Arthritis prevalence among veterans is higher than among nonveterans, especially among male and female veterans aged <45 years and those with disabilities, providing rationale for prioritizing these subgroups for secondary and tertiary prevention efforts," the authors write.

More information:
Elizabeth A. Fallon et al, Arthritis Prevalence Among Veterans—United States, 2017–2021, MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (2023). DOI: 10.15585/mmwr.mm7245a1

Journal information:
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

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