A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said arthritis and other chronic joint problems are far more widespread than previously thought.
One in three adults in the United States have joint problems.
Health officials and advocates said the numbers and related health care costs should continue to rise as the baby boom generation reaches old age.
The CDC said Alabama has the third highest rate of arthritis in the nation. In 2002, 40.5 percent of Alabama adults reported being diagnosed with arthritis or experiencing symptoms, such as sore or stiff joints.
The 50 state survey showed West Virginia has the highest rate of arthritis. Kentucky ranked second.
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Features of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Tender, warm, swollen joints.
- Symmetrical pattern. For example, if one knee is affected, the other one is also.
- Joint inflammation often affecting the wrist and finger joints closest to the hand; other affected joints can include those of the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, ankles, and feet.
- Fatigue, occasional fever, a general sense of not feeling well (malaise).
- Pain and stiffness lasting for more than 30 minutes in the morning or after a long rest.
- Symptoms that can last for many years.
- Symptoms in other parts of the body besides the joints.
- Variability of symptoms among people with the disease.
Source: http://www.nih.gov/niams/healthinfo/rahandout/ (National Institutes of Health).