Greiner B, Checketts J, Fishbeck K, Hartwell M. Clinical characteristics and lifestyle behaviors among individuals with arthritis: an analysis of 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2021;121(1):113–119. doi: https://doi.org/10.1515/jom-2020-0123.
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The combination of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis affects nearly one-fourth of Americans. Many of the risk factors for arthritis are lifestyle related, such as obesity, physical activity, dietary behaviors, and alcohol and tobacco use.
To analyze lifestyle behaviors of patients with vs. those without arthritis.
A cross-sectional analysis of 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data was conducted on patients with and without a history of arthritis. Physical activity, smoking status, alcohol use, and dietary behaviors were extracted. Logistic regression models were constructed to calculate adjusted risk ratios (ARRs). All confidence intervals (CIs) were reported at 95%.
The median response rate for the 2017 BRFSS survey was 45.1% (sample n=292,808; population N=118,751,156). The overall prevalence of arthritis was 44% (n=128,850). Respondents with arthritis were significantly more likely to be physically inactive than nonarthritic respondents, with a significant gender interaction (male absolute risk reduction [ARR], 1.2 [CI, 1.15–1.25]; female ARR, 1.29 [CI, 1.24–1.33]). Those with arthritis were also more likely to be current smokers (ARR 1.1; CI, 1.05–1.15) and less likely to have attempted to quit smoking in the last 12 months (ARR, 0.91; CI, 0.87–0.96). Finally, men with arthritis were more likely to drink alcohol heavily (ARR, 1.14; CI, 1.02–1.27]).
Patients with arthritis were more likely to be women, White, current smokers, and physically inactive, and to have poor mental health, lower education levels, and difficulty paying for healthcare and medications than those without arthritis. Further efforts should be made to address these findings through resource allocation in the care of patients with arthritis. Practitioners should also seek increased understanding of the psychological, social, and economic impacts of physical activity and smoking in patients with arthritis.
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