October 14, 2007
Workforce Disabilities From Arthritis

On average 6.7% of the US workforce has arthritis severe enough to limit their ability to work.

Persons who are limited in their work by arthritis are considered to have arthritis-attributable work limitation (AAWL). In the United States, AAWL affects one in 20 working-age adults (aged 18--64 years) and one in three working-age adults with self-reported, doctor-diagnosed arthritis (2). To estimate state-specific prevalence of AAWL and the percentage employed among working-age U.S. adults with AAWL, CDC analyzed data from the 2003 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey. This report describes the results of that analysis, which indicated that the state-specific prevalence of AAWL among all working-age adults ranged from 3.4% (Hawaii) to 15.0% (Kentucky) (median among states: 6.7%) in 2003. Among those with self-reported, doctor-diagnosed arthritis, the prevalence of AAWL ranged from 25.1% (Nevada) to 51.3% (Kentucky) (median among states: 33.0%). In every state, persons with work limitations attributed to arthritis reported being employed less frequently than working-age adults in the state overall and persons with arthritis but not work limitations.

The percentages will rise as average age rises. Therefore the benefits of effective treatments will rise as well. Therefore we stand more to gain from developing treatments as our population ages.

Rejuvenation therapies such as gene therapies and stem cell treatments will some day slash the rate of disability caused by arthritis and could also slash disability caused by other degenerative diseases. We would each suffer less and produce more and make more money and live better lives if those therapies came sooner rather than later. I personally am convinced by the argument that we can stop and reverse aging of joints and of the rest of the body.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2007 October 14 06:44 PM  Aging Studies

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