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NOT JUST A DISEASE THAT HITS ADULTS

By Craig S. Semon TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

Monday September 8, 2008

The face of arthritis is not necessarily old, tired and wrinkly. It also can be young, vibrant and smooth as a child. In fact, it also can be giggly and all smiles.

“The most common myth is arthritis is a disease of adults and children do not get arthritis,” said Dr. Robert P. Sundel, program director of rheumatology at Children’s Hospital Boston. “While it is relatively rare, and far less common in children than in adults, it’s nonetheless an important disease to recognize and diagnose, primarily because it is so treatable and controllable. And, if it is missed or the diagnosis is delayed, it can have permanent repercussions on the child’s functioning in life.”

10 Things Everyone Should Know About Arthritis

  1. More than 46 million Americans have arthritis, making it the most common cause of disability in the United States.
  2. There are more than 100 forms of arthritis and related diseases.
  3. Kids get Arthritis Too! Approximately 300,000 children under the age of 18 suffer from this painful, often crippling disease.
  4. here are fewer than 200 pediatric rheumatologists in the United States.
  5. Walking 30 minutes a day can reduce the risk of getting some forms or arthritis.
  6. Arthritis is the cause of nearly 10,000 deaths and 750,000 hospitalizations annually.
  7. Nearly two-thirds of all doctor-diagnosed arthritis patients are under the age of 65.
  8. By the year 2030, it is estimated that more than 67 million American adults will suffer from some form of arthritis.
  9. There are many ways you can help. You can contribute directly to the Arthritis Foundation, you can register to participate in an upcoming Walk in your area, or you can help advocate for awareness and support by contacting your senators and representatives via the Foundation's Advocacy Center.
  10. For every dollar donated to the Arthritis Foundation, 83 cents goes directly towards the funding of research and programming.