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Health Indicator Report of Arthritis prevalence

Arthritis affects 54 million adults (1 in every 4) in the United States and is projected to increase. Arthritis is a leading cause of disability and is associated with substantial activity limitation, work disability, and reduced quality of life. In 2021, the percentage of Utah adults aged 18 and older with arthritis was 21 percent (crude rate). This represents approximately 508,337 individuals based on the estimated Utah population 18 and older for 2021.

Prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis by Utah small area, 2019-2021 combined years


Doctor-diagnosed arthritis was self-reported and was not confirmed by a health-care provider; however, such self-reports have been shown to be acceptable for surveillance purposes.   [[br]] [[br]]*Use caution in interpreting. The estimate has a coefficient of variation >30% and is therefore deemed unreliable by Utah Department of Health standards. A description and boundaries of the Utah Small Areas may be found at: []. Age-adjusted to the U.S. 2000 standard population for comparison purposes. Age-adjusted rates are based on five age groups: 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-64, and 65+.

Data Source

Utah Department of Health and Human Services Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

Data Interpretation Issues

Because age affects the likelihood of having arthritis, it is beneficial to adjust for the effect of age when comparing populations. This helps determine if certain populations have factors that contribute to arthritis prevalence other than the effect of age. Beginning in 2011, BRFSS data included both landline and cell phone respondent data along with a new weighting methodology called iterative proportional fitting, or raking. This methodology utilizes additional demographic information (such as education, race, and marital status) in the weighting procedure. Both of these methodology changes were implemented to account for an increased number of U.S. households without landline phones and an under-representation of certain demographic groups that were not well-represented in the sample. More details about these changes can be found at: [].


Percentage of persons who have ever been told by a doctor or other health professional that they have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia.


Includes survey respondents ages 18 and older who reported being told by a doctor or other health professional that they had some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia. Excludes those with missing, don't know, and refused answers.


Includes survey respondents ages 18 and older. Excludes those with missing, don't know, or refused answers.

Healthy People Objective: Increase the proportion of adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis who have had effective, evidence-based arthritis education as an integral part of the management of their condition

U.S. Target: 11.7 percent
State Target: 12.1 percent

How Are We Doing?

Roughly one in every five Utah adults reported having arthritis over the past several years. As people age, the likelihood of having arthritis increases. For example, 5.8 percent of adults aged 18-34 reported having arthritis whereas one in every two (51.8 percent) adults 65 years and older reported having arthritis (combined years 2019-2021). As the older adult population increases in the coming years, the prevalence of arthritis is also projected to increase. Women 65 years and older were the most likely to have arthritis with 57.8 percent reporting arthritis. This was significantly greater than the rate for men of the same age (46.7 percent). Women were more likely to have arthritis for all age groups. Other groups that were less likely to have arthritis included college graduates, Hispanics, and adults making more than $75,000 a year when compared to those with less education, non-Hispanics, and those making less than $75,000 a year, respectively. Arthritis prevalence also differed by geographic location. The age-adjusted prevalence of arthritis (combined years 2018-2020) in local health districts ranged from a low of 19.1 percent in Summit County Health District to a high of 32.1 percent in Southeast Utah Health District. Health districts with rates significantly lower than the state rate included Summit County and Wasatch County. Health districts with rates significantly higher than the state rate included Southeast Utah, Tooele County, Central Utah, Weber-Morgan, and TriCounty.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The age-adjusted prevalence of arthritis in Utah was 21.9 percent in 2021, which was the same as the U.S. age-adjusted rate.

What Is Being Done?

The Healthy Aging Program focuses on measuring the occurrence of arthritis in Utah, increasing arthritis awareness and educational opportunities, and promoting participation in programs proven to help persons with arthritis, pain, and other chronic conditions. Additionally, the Healthy Aging Program supports health systems, clinics, and physicians using strategies and resources that support healthcare provider-patient counseling to increase physical activity and referrals to the evidence-based workshops and exercise classes [ proven] to help patients improve their mental and physical health.

Evidence-based Practices

The Healthy Aging Program (HAP) partners with healthcare, nonprofit, and government organizations across Utah to deliver evidence-based workshops to help people better manage arthritis, pain, and other chronic conditions. Schedules and locations of these workshops can be found at []. The HAP recommends and supports the *Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs, EnhanceFitness, Walk With Ease, Living Well with a Disability, Tai Chi, and the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program which have been proven to improve the quality of life for people with arthritis and other chronic conditions. *Chronic Disease Self-Management programs include:[[br]] - Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) as known as Living Well with Chronic Conditions[[br]] - Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) also known as Living Well with Diabetes[[br]] - Chronic Pain Self-Management Program (CPSMP) also known as Living Well with Chronic Pain[[br]] - Tomando Control de su Salud (Spanish CDSMP)[[br]] - Better Choices Better Health (online CDSMP)[[br]] [[br]] For additional information on these programs visit [] or [].

Available Services

To find and register for an evidence-based program in your area please visit:[[br]] [][[br]] or call the Health Resource Line at:[[br]] 1-888-222-2542[[br]] Other resources for people with arthritis are available at: Utah Department of Health and Human Services[[br]] Healthy Aging Program[[br]] Bureau of Health Promotion and Prevention[[br]] [][[br]] Arthritis Foundation[[br]] 1355 Peachtree Street, Suite 600[[br]] Atlanta, Georgia 30309[[br]] 1(800) 283-7800[[br]] 888-391-9389[[br]] Information Evidence-Based Programs:[[br]] [][[br]] [][[br]] Rheumatologists in Utah[[br]] []

Health Program Information

The vision of the Healthy Aging Program is to increase self-management skills and improve the quality of life for all Utahns affected by arthritis and other chronic conditions. The Healthy Aging Program provides technical assistance and coordination to increase awareness, expand reach, and achieve sustainability of evidence-based self-management programs for all Utahns affected by arthritis and other chronic conditions through statewide partnerships. Contact for questions about providing, referring, or increasing physician counseling for patients into evidence-based programs. Visit [ LivingWell.Utah.Gov] to find a workshop for yourself or a loved one.

Page Content Updated On 01/04/2023, Published on 02/07/2023
The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sat, 22 June 2024 3:00:34 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Tue, 7 Feb 2023 08:42:46 MST