Survey: Seven out of 10 seniors report joint pain or arthritis

Survey: Seven out of 10 seniors report joint pain or arthritis

TUESDAY, Feb. 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Seven in 10 older American adults report joint pain or arthritis, with nearly half saying it limits their daily activities, according to results from the latest national survey from the University of Michigan on Healthy Aging.

Preeti Malani, MD, of the Institute for Health Policy and Innovation at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and her colleagues surveyed a national sample of 2,277 older adults (aged 50-80 ) on their experiences and management of arthritis and joint pain.

The poll, sponsored by AARP, found that nearly half of those who report arthritis symptoms say they have pain every day (45%). Almost half of people with joint pain say the pain at least somewhat limits their usual activities (49%), while more than a third (36%) say it interferes with their daily life. Three-quarters think arthritis and joint pain are part of normal aging, and two-thirds take over-the-counter pain relievers (aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen). One in four respondents (26%) say they take supplements (like glucosamine or chondroitin), while 11% have turned to cannabidiol and 9% use marijuana. Less than one in five report prescription treatments, including prescription non-opioid painkillers (18%), steroid joint injections (19%), oral steroids (14%), opioids (14%) and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. (4 percent).

“Older people with fair or poor physical or mental health were significantly more likely to agree with the statement that there is nothing anyone with joint pain can do to relieve their symptoms, which we now know to be wrong,” Malani said in a statement. “Health care providers need to bring up the topic of joint pain with their elderly patients and help them develop a plan of care that might work for them.”

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