Study Reveals Disparities: Hispanics Impacted More Severely By Joint Pain, Work...

Study Reveals Disparities: Hispanics Impacted More Severely By Joint Pain, Work Limitations

Arthritis Foundation Announces New Spanish-language Resources to Address Need for Information Among Hispanics


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Atlanta, GA–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–August 4, 2005–The rapidly growing U.S. Hispanic population and the disproportionate rate at which arthritis impacts this community indicate an imminent public health threat that could be limited with accurate information and action, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

According to recent estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly three million Hispanic adults in the U.S. report doctor-diagnosed arthritis, while millions more live with chronic joint symptoms but have not seen a doctor. The CDC study also revealed that, despite a lower population prevalence of arthritis, Hispanics with arthritis have more severe joint pain and a higher proportion of arthritis-attributed work limitations than non-Hispanics.

A recent survey published in The Journal of Pain showed that Hispanics are less likely to see a doctor for chronic pain than whites or blacks, with many citing a lack of health insurance as a major reason for avoiding treatment.

“Hispanics don’t talk about pain and even consider it to be a sign of weakness, so many people in the Hispanic community are not getting the help and information they need,” said Dr. Veronica Mesquida, a Hispanic rheumatologist and Arthritis Foundation medical adviser. “The Arthritis Foundation has many resources available in Spanish to help Hispanics learn simple steps they can take to beat arthritis and maintain an active life.”

Because early intervention is crucial to slowing or halting the progression of arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation is urging the Hispanic community to take steps now to manage arthritis or risk a life with pain and limitations affecting themselves and their family.

“We know that physical activity, weight reduction and arthritis self-management can reduce the disabling effects of arthritis,” said Dr. John H. Klippel, president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation. “It is very important that we reach all people with arthritis with accurate information about controlling the disease – especially Hispanic populations who are more likely to suffer its disabling effects.”

Filling an Information Gap

Recognizing the need to reach Hispanics with accurate information about arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation announces the availability of Spanish-language resources, including a series of 16 brochures and information sheets about various forms of arthritis; an award-winning Web site, http://www.arthritis.org/espanol, with message boards and more than 100 pages of information; a toll-free Spanish-language help line (1-800-568-4045) with an option to speak live with someone in Spanish; and an e-mail help address, Ayuda@arthritis.org, where Hispanics can get a personalized response in Spanish to their questions about arthritis.

About Arthritis

Arthritis already is the nation’s leading cause of disability with a nationwide economic impact of more than $86.2 billion annually. The condition strikes all ages and knows no racial or ethnic boundaries. And as the U.S. population ages, the prevalence of arthritis will continue to climb.

Although genetics places a person at risk for arthritis, there are a number of proactive, healthy lifestyle measures that Americans can take to prevent or manage arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation recommends the following:

— Maintain an appropriate weight and lose weight as needed

— Build strong bones through calcium

— Exercise to maintain fitness and flexibility

— Most of all, seek early diagnosis and treatment to prevent joint damage and disability

The initial signs of arthritis include pain, swelling and limited movement that last for more than two weeks.

The Arthritis Foundation is the only nationwide, nonprofit health organization helping people take greater control of arthritis by leading efforts to prevent, control and cure arthritis and related diseases – the nation’s leading cause of disability. The Arthritis Foundation also provides a large number of community-based services located nationwide to make life with arthritis easier and less painful.

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CONTACT:

Arthritis Foundation

Lynne Unglo

(404) 965-7661

or

Porter Novelli

Carmen Atehortua

(954) 883-3778

Study Reveals Disparities: Hispanics Impacted More Severely By Joint Pain, Work Limitations