CDC: A quarter of American adults have been diagnosed with arthritis

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More than a quarter of American adults have been diagnosed with arthritis and another 17% may be suffering from it, according to a 30-state survey released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC arthritis expert Dr. Chad Helmick said the number of Americans with arthritis is expected to increase sharply as the baby boomer generation heads into retirement, according to Reuters.

Those diagnosed with a form of arthritis -- rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus or fibromyalgia -- ranged from a low of 17.8% in Hawaii to a high of 35.8% in Alabama in 2002, while the median rate was 27.6%.

Arthritis, a musculoskeletal disease that causes painful inflammation in the joints, is the leading cause of disability in the United States.

Health experts believe that a combination of proper diet, weight control, exercise and regular medical treatment are effective in controlling both the prevalence and severity of arthritis.

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