Osteoarthritis is our nation's most common form of arthritis. This serious, painful and potentially life-altering joint disease places severe limits on daily activity and quality of life for over 27 million Americans. Affecting mainly hands, knees and hips, osteoarthritis (OA) often
- causes weakness and disability
- interferes with work productivity
- results in joint replacement
- generates inordinate socioeconomic costs
In view of the fact that the U.S. population is aging and obesity is on the rise, the prevalence, health impact and economic consequences of OA are expected to increase dramatically.
In early 2008, leadership from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Arthritis Foundation (AF) initiated a collaboration to address ways to reduce the public health burden of OA over the next 3-5 years. Working with the CDC and the Arthritis Foundation, a group of more than 75 stakeholder organizations created The National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis, which sets the stage for a collaborative and focused initiative to achieve three overall goals:
- Ensure the availability of evidence-based intervention strategies to all Americans with or at risk for osteoarthritis.
- Establish supportive policies, communication initiatives and strategic alliances for osteoarthritis prevention and management.
- Initiate needed research to better understand the burden of OA, its risk factors and effective strategies for intervention.
The National Public Health Agenda for osteoarthritis sets out ten recommendations. Read those below or view the full report.
- Self management education should be expanded as a community-based intervention for people with symptomatic OA.
- Low impact, moderate intensity aerobic physical activity should be promoted widely as a public health intervention for adults with OA of the hip and/or knee.
- Existing policies and interventions that have been shown to reduce OA-related joint injuries should be promoted, implemented and enforced.
- Weight management should be promoted for the prevention and treatment of OA, and national nutrition and dietary guidelines for the general population should be followed by adults with OA so they select a quality diet while staying within their calorie requirements.
- A national policy platform for OA should be established to improve the nation's health through evidence-based clinical and community prevention and disease control activities, including core public health infrastructure improvement activities.
- Evidence-based interventions should be expanded.
- Quality and equity should be assured.
- Workplace environment should be improved by adopting policies and interventions that prevent onset and progression of OA.
- A well designed communication strategy should be initiated and sustained to enhance understanding and change attitudes and behavior among consumers, healthcare providers, policy makers, employers and the business community, and community organizations.
- Research and evaluation should be pursued to enhance surveillance, better understand risk factors, refine recommended intervention strategies, evaluate workplace and rehabilitation interventions, and examine emerging evidence on additional promising interventions.
For Health Care Professionals