2011 Arthritis Awareness Survey Findings
Affecting more than 50 million Americans, arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. Clearly, arthritis is a problem for many individuals living with any number of forms of the disease, such as gout, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriatic arthritis, etc. With May serving as 2011 Arthritis Awareness Month, there is heightened awareness on the issues surrounding arthritis.
According to the Arthritis Foundation:
Today, one in five Americans is living with the pain of arthritis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) projects that by the year 2030, an estimated 67 million people in the U.S. will be affected by arthritis, up from current estimates of 50 million. Even more alarming is the fact that the prevalence of osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, continues to rise even though it can often be prevented by staying active through enjoyable physical activities such as walking.
But in looking at the bigger picture, arthritis affects a much larger population of people. Consider all the spouses, siblings, children, partners, neighbors, co-workers, friends and other extended family members who all share a part in assisting, helping or simply supporting someone living with arthritis.
"When you take all of this into account, that 50 million number is easily multiplied several times over," said Tamer Elsafy, CEO and founder of Flexcin. "In fact, it would probably be very difficult to find someone who doesn't know one person that has some form of arthritis."
Flexcin International, which makes CM8-based degenerative joint supplements for people and pets, is constantly working with many of these people to help make their lives better. As part of being a proceeds sponsor 0f the Arthritis Foundation, and in preparation for Arthritis Awareness Month in May, Flexcin was curious to know the level of awareness and support from all the people who touch someone living with arthritis.
Flexcin conducted a national survey throughout April to find out how aware a person's support network is when they have arthritis.
The 2011 Arthritis Awareness Month survey was open to anyone suffering from any form of arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Psoriatic arthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus or other joint-related pain, illness or disability. The purpose was to get a better picture of what type of support people receive while they are coping with the disease. Results from the twelve-question survey will help paint a picture between men and women coping with arthritis, and the level of support they receive on any given day. Flexcin will also use the results to generate additional awareness for arthritis and joint-pain related issues.
Who Participated in the Questionnaire
During the 2011 Arthritis Awareness Month survey in April, approximately 1,350 people living with some form of arthritis or joint pain problems participated in the online survey. Respondents came from all over the country, including California, New York, Florida, Illinois, Texas, and many other states. Here is a breakdown of the type of arthritis respondents said they have:
Arthritis, Osteoarthritis arthritis, Psoriatic arthritis, septic arthritis: 65.2%
Rheumatoid arthritis: 19.6%
Gout or pseudogout: 3.3%
Other joint pain: 11.9%
Women Receive Less Support Than Men
Through the responses, the most significant and notable item was feedback received from women and men who feel they receive a different level of support and awareness from each other. The majority of women (78.3%) said they feel like they receive very little support when it comes to general awareness of issues involving their arthritis. Conversely, most men said they are satisfied with the level of support and awareness they receive (65.6%) from family.
"There can be a great divide in the way men and women communicate, which includes listening," said Mr. Elsafy. "Many times, just listening can lead to the ability to create an environment that offers more support and awareness."
Co-Workers More Supportive Than Family
Another interesting aspect of the 2011 Arthritis Awareness survey was to determine the level of support and awareness provided by various groups of people, including spouses, family members, household members and co-workers. The majority of survey participants feel that co-workers offer more support and awareness compared with other family members. More than half (56.3%) said they feel co-workers offer a higher level of support and overall awareness compared to that of family members.
"It has been well-documented that in some jobs, people actually spend more time with co-workers than they do their actual family in a given week," said Mr. Elsafy. "This closeness and bond that develops among co-workers can carry over to areas such as helping others in a variety of life situations like having arthritis."
Level of Awareness in the Household
Spouses and family members play an integral role in helping people with arthritis get through each day. Sometimes, just being aware and sensitive to the fact that a person is dealing with a painful bout of arthritis can make a significant difference in their quality of life on a particular day. In the survey, 67.4% of respondents said other members of the household are never aware of their arthritis, or just sometimes aware. What's more, 64.4% of respondents said others in the household never take an interest in their daily issues with arthritis, or just every now and then. This could take the form of asking questions to learn more or be more aware, reading up on what it's like to have arthritis, or generally making a person's life easier through change.
"Flexcin believes a strong support network can significantly help a person coping with degenerative joints," added Mr. Elsafy. "It's important for other people to be aware of certain issues arthritis sufferers deal with on a day-to-day basis to increase the amount of support offered."