Latinos are More Affected by Arthritis

Musculoskeletal health disparities threaten the health of the nation and must become a national priority

By LatinoLA Contributor
Published on LatinoLA: September 19, 2011

Latinos are More Affected by Arthritis

An estimated 3.1 million Latinos are living with arthritis according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), yet this critical health issue and its debilitating effects are not widely discussed.

Studies have shown that Latinos, African Americans and women are disproportionately affected by arthritis and have more severe pain and limitation. According to the CDC, Latinos and African Americans are nearly twice as likely as whites to have severe joint pain and work limitations. Among Latinos with arthritis, at least one in five reported a significant arthritis attributable effect, including severe joint pain and activity or work limitations.

Moreover, obesity and other chronic health conditions exacerbate the debilitating impact of arthritis, leading to inactivity, loss of independence, and perpetuating a cycle of chronic conditions. According to the CDC, obesity prevalence is 54 percent higher among adults with arthritis compared with adults without arthritis.

"Arthritis is the single greatest cause of chronic pain and disability, particularly among Hispanics, and finding a solution is critical," said Alberto Bolanos, MD, Co-Founder, American Association of Latino Orthopaedic Surgeons. "By working together, we can decrease gender and racial musculoskeletal health disparities."

On September 20-21, Movement is Life will present the second annual Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Health Disparities caucus to address these critical issues in Washington D.C.

Movement is Life aims to decrease the current existing gaps in musculoskeletal care delivery by raising awareness of the benefits of chronic disease management. The two-day event will bring together a consortium of stakeholders representing primary care physicians, orthopaedic surgeons, nurses, health advocacy organizations, community organizations, academia/medical schools, faith-based leaders, public policy officials, industry leaders and more.

"This caucus will energize multi-disciplinary work groups to develop measurable, short-term action plans that can make an impact now as long-term solutions are being developed," added Dr. Bolanos.

Some of the participating Latino organizations include the American Association of Latino Orthopaedic Surgeons, National Hispanic Council on Aging, National Hispanic Medical Association and the National Hispanic Nurses Fund.

For more information on musculoskeletal health disparities or the caucus, please visit Movement is Life has been made possible by Zimmer, a global leader in musculoskeletal care.

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