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Rheumatologic Diseases

  • Leif B. Sorensen
  • Joy M. Blair

Abstract

By all demographic projections, the population 65 years of age and older will increase rapidly in absolute and relative numbers through the year 2020 and beyond. Although the majority of older individuals in the future will be healthy and able to function independently, a significant fraction will develop chronic health problems varying in degree from relatively minor difficulties to severe disabilities. Chronic diseases, such as arthritis, will contribute prominently to disability. In a survey conducted in 1989 by the National Center for Health Statistics,1 the leading chronic conditions in the elderly were arthritis, hypertension, hearing impairment, and heart disease. Arthritis ranked first among the 10 most prevalent chronic health problems, with a prevalence of 483 per 1,000 individuals 65 years and older and 554 per 1,000 individuals age 75 and above. Estimates of arthritis prevalence and physical activity limitation were derived from household interview data from the 1989–1991 National Health Interview Survey and applied to the 1990 census population.2 An estimated 37.9 million people, 15% of the total United States population, had arthritis in 1990. The estimated prevalence rate was 49.4% for people aged 65 years and over, as compared with 5.1% for people aged 44 years and under, and 0.5% for children aged 16 or under. In 1990, 7 million people (2.8% of the total U.S. population) were estimated to have activity limitation due to arthritis. Activity limitation associated with arthritis in the 65+ age group was estimated at 11.6%.

Keywords

Rheumatoid Arthritis Synovial Fluid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Giant Cell Arteritis Keratan Sulfate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leif B. Sorensen
  • Joy M. Blair

There are no affiliations available

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