Arthritis Foundation Awareness to Reduce Osteoarthritis

Author: Arthritis Foundation
Published: 2010/02/04 - Updated: 2010/06/25
Peer-Reviewed: N/A
Contents: Summary - Main - Related Publications

Synopsis: Arthritis Foundation initiative to dramatically reduce the impact of osteoarthritis on Americans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Arthritis Foundation today announced a major initiative to dramatically reduce the impact of osteoarthritis on Americans.

Main Digest

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Arthritis Foundation today announced a major initiative to dramatically reduce the impact of osteoarthritis on Americans.

National Public Awareness Campaign with Arthritis Foundation and Ad Council to Communicate that "Moving is the Best Medicine"

In conjunction with the announcement, the Arthritis Foundation and the Ad Council are unveiling a national public awareness campaign today in response to the recommendations outlined in the action plan, A National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis.

Already the nation's most common cause of disability, the impact of arthritis is slated to increase in the decades to come. One in five adults in the United States (46 million people) has arthritis and an estimated 67 million people will be affected by 2030.

Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is a serious and painful joint disease that currently affects nearly 27 million people in the United States and costs an estimated $5,700 annually per person living with the disease. With the combination of inactivity, obesity, injury and the aging of Americans, the rising prevalence of osteoarthritis is expected to escalate the severe health and economic effects of this disease.

"Now is the time that we as a nation must invest our resources in the prevention of osteoarthritis," said John H. Klippel, MD, president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation. "This National Public Health Agenda with the CDC and the new public awareness campaign with the Ad Council will dispel the myth that osteoarthritis is an inevitable part of aging and will call on the nation and individuals to take proven steps to prevent and decrease the pain and disability of arthritis." A National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis

A National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis is the first comprehensive national action plan that calls on health care providers, insurers, policymakers, public health agencies and the public to collectively take the steps necessary to reduce the burden of osteoarthritis. The blueprint includes four intervention strategies including:

Self-management Education

Physical Activity

Injury Prevention

Weight Management

The Agenda is the result of an 18-month effort by the CDC and the Arthritis Foundation that included the development of two working groups, one focusing on research interventions and the other on policy/communications efforts, and a major summit that brought together more than 75 stakeholders to determine the best strategies for reducing the impact of osteoarthritis.

"This important report will help the public health community speak with a unified voice and focus our collective efforts on actions that we know will make a difference in the lives of people suffering from osteoarthritis," said Dr. Ursula Bauer, director of CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Fight Arthritis Pain Campaign

One recommended strategy and the first step is the launch of a national awareness campaign. The new multimedia public service advertising campaign launched today by the Arthritis Foundation, the Ad Council and the American College of Rheumatology aims to empower people with (or at risk for) osteoarthritis to take simple steps to reduce pain, increase their mobility and help prevent disability caused by osteoarthritis. Created pro bono by the ad agency Y&R in New York, the Fight Arthritis Pain campaign demonstrates that "moving is the best medicine" and features messages about the important role that physical activity and weight reduction play in preventing and managing the pain associated with osteoarthritis.

The campaign includes television, radio, print, outdoor and Web ads that will run in donated advertising time and space and will direct Americans to visit a new website, The site features a risk assessment tool for osteoarthritis, movement tracker, live news feed, community forums and blogs, program and event locator, as well as campaign materials. A social media program will further engage Americans online and direct them to visit the website to access resources.

"Physical activity for those living with osteoarthritis can be daunting because of the pain and discomfort they live with every day," said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of The Advertising Council. "Through this wonderful campaign with the Arthritis Foundation, those with or at risk for osteoarthritis will be empowered to increase their movement and ultimately reduce the pain and disability associated with the disease."

Numerous stakeholder groups across the country will be working with the Arthritis Foundation and its chapters to implement the goals outlined in this groundbreaking, multi-year effort.

For more information on fighting osteoarthritis, including a tool for assessing risk of osteoarthritis and simple steps you can take to reduce pain, increase mobility and slow progression of the disease, visit:

The Arthritis Foundation is the leading health organization addressing the needs of some 46 million Americans living with arthritis, the nation's most common cause of disability. Founded in 1948, with headquarters in Atlanta, the Arthritis Foundation has multiple service points located throughout the country and offers programs that can decrease the pain and disability associated with arthritis.

The Arthritis Foundation is the largest private, not-for-profit contributor to arthritis research in the world, funding more than $415 million in research grants since 1948. The foundation helps individuals take control of their arthritis by providing public health education; pursuing public policy and legislation; and conducting evidence-based programs to improve the quality of life for those living with arthritis. Information is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-283-7800 or

The Ad Council ( is a private, non-profit organization that marshals talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to produce, distribute and promote public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies. The Ad Council addresses issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community well-being, environmental preservation and strengthening families.

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