Top 5 Takeaways

  1. High Prevalence of Arthritis Among Caregivers: Approximately one in five adults in 17 states was a caregiver during 2017 and 2019, and one in three caregivers had arthritis.
  2. Greater Prevalence Compared to Noncaregivers: The prevalence of arthritis among caregivers (35.1%) was notably higher than among noncaregivers (24.5%).
  3. Impact on Caregiving Duties: Caregivers with arthritis often provided care for more hours per week and for a longer duration than those without arthritis, and they also reported higher rates of disabilities, especially mobility issues.
  4. Caregivers’ Health and Support Needs: The physical and mental health of caregivers with arthritis can be adversely affected, indicating a need for targeted health interventions and support.
  5. Recommendations for Public Health Professionals: Emphasis on the importance of supporting caregivers with arthritis through health interventions and public health strategies.

Original Article Author and Citation

Corresponding Author

John D. Omura, .

Suggested Citation

Jackson EM, Omura JD, Boring MA, et al. Prevalence and Characteristics of Arthritis Among Caregivers — 17 States, 2017 and 2019. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:1389–1395 DOI:


The study assessed the prevalence of arthritis among caregivers, using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) in 17 states. It found that one in five adults was a caregiver, and among them, one in three had arthritis. This rate was higher than the prevalence among noncaregivers.


The BRFSS, a cross-sectional telephone survey, was used to collect data. Participants were adults aged ≥18 years from 17 states, surveyed in 2017 or 2019. Respondents were classified as caregivers if they provided care to a family member or friend with a health condition in the past 30 days. Arthritis status was determined based on respondents’ confirmation of a medical diagnosis.


The study highlights that caregivers with arthritis face significant challenges in their caregiving role due to physical limitations and disabilities. The prevalence of arthritis was consistent across various demographic subgroups and states. Caregivers with arthritis were more likely to have been caregiving for longer periods and for more hours each week. They also reported higher rates of arthritis-attributable activity and work limitations.


Arthritis among caregivers is a significant concern, affecting their ability to provide care and their own well-being. The study underscores the need for targeted interventions to support these caregivers. Health care professionals and public health strategists are encouraged to develop and promote arthritis-related health interventions and lifestyle management programs to support caregivers in managing their symptoms and continuing their caregiving responsibilities.


This has been your booster shot of MMWR Info! Please check back for more MMWR, Public Health, and Programming Tutorial content daily.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>