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Carol Eustice

Arthritis Can Affect Anyone at Any Age

By November 23, 2007

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Have you heard that arthritis only affects older people? Not true -- that's a common misconception. Arthritis is not just an older personís condition. In actuality -- arthritis can affect anyone at any age -- not just the elderly. It's true that the incidence of arthritis -- especially osteoarthritis -- increases with age, but nearly 3 out of every 5 arthritis patients are younger than age 65, according to the (CDC) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Arthritis is a prevalent disease. According to the CDC, an estimated 46 million American adults (over 1 in 5) report doctor-diagnosed arthritis, making it one of the most common health problems. Arthritis is not a single condition -- the term arthritis refers to a group of more than 100 different diseases and conditions that cause aching, pain, stiffness and swelling in or around the joints. The CDC reports, the most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. Some types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, cause widespread symptoms and may result in debilitating, even life-threatening complications. Overlapping symptoms can make arthritis a difficult condition to diagnose, but each form of arthritis has prominent signs, symptoms, and disease characteristics.

Early symptoms of arthritis can resemble ordinary aches and pains which nearly everyone experiences at some point. An accurate diagnosis is required for proper treatment of arthritis. When should you ask a doctor about your symptoms? According to the Arthritis Foundation, if you or a loved one are having arthritis symptoms for more than 2 weeks, it's time to see a doctor.

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