Arthritis includes more than 100 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints, the tissues that surround the joint and other connective tissue. Typically, symptoms are characterized by pain and stiffness in and around one or more joints. It is the leading cause of disability in the United States, affects more than 52 million Americans and over 5.9 million Californians (20%).
Early diagnosis and appropriate management of arthritis can help people with arthritis decrease pain, improve function, and stay productive. Arthritis affects a large proportion of California adults who also have other chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. The presence of arthritis may contribute to additional barriers to adopting healthier lifestyles.