Prevalence of Arthritis Higher Among Caregivers

The proportion of caregivers reporting disabilities was higher for those with versus without arthritis.

HealthDay News — The prevalence of arthritis is higher among caregivers than noncaregivers, and caregivers with arthritis are more likely to report disabilities, according to research published in the Nov. 4 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Eva M.J. Jackson, M.P.H., from the Alzheimer’s Association in Chicago, and colleagues examined data from 17 states that administered the arthritis and caregiving modules as part of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 2017 or 2019 to assess arthritis among caregivers of a family member or friend.

The researchers found that 20.6 percent of adults were caregivers. The prevalence of arthritis was higher among caregivers than noncaregivers (35.1 versus 24.5 percent). Caregivers with arthritis provided similar types of care to those without arthritis, and they were more likely to have provided care for five or more years and for 40 hours/week or more. The proportion of caregivers reporting disabilities was higher for those with versus without arthritis (38.0 versus 7.3 percent).

“Caregivers with arthritis might benefit from interventions to help them continue providing quality care for their friends and family members,” the authors write. “Health care professionals can recommend physical activity and lifestyle management programs for arthritis to help their patients who are caregivers to manage their arthritis symptoms.”

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