ATLANTA, April 28 (UPI) -- Obesity is common among the 50 million U.S. adults who suffer from arthritis, federal health officials say.
Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say although weight loss can improve arthritis symptoms and function among obese adults with arthritis, obesity prevalence among adults with arthritis is increasing in far more states than it is decreasing.
"From 2003 to 2009 obesity prevalence among adults with arthritis significantly increased in 15 states/territories, stayed roughly the same in 35 states, and significantly decreased only in the District of Columbia," the study says.
In 2009, among adults with arthritis, 48 states had an obesity prevalence of more than 30 percent, the study says.
"These findings indicate a critical need to expand the reach of effective strategies aimed at obesity prevention, treatment and arthritis management -- physical activity, self-management education, etc. -- in the population," the study says.
The findings are published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.