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Mon May 19, 2014

May is National Arthritis Month and the DuPage County Health Department would like County residents to be aware of the surprising facts surrounding this common disease, which can be costly and painful.

Arthritis is the nation's leading cause of disability, affecting one in five adults. There are over 100 joint diseases that can affect the entire body that fall under the umbrella term of Arthritis.

In an effort to raise awareness about arthritis, here are some surprising myths and facts that surround the disease.

Myth: Arthritis is a disease associated with aging. Fact: Arthritis can affect people of all ages. Two-thirds of people with arthritis are under the age of 65 and some of the most serious forms of arthritis occur in teenagers or people in their 20s and 30s.

Myth: Only old people get arthritis. Fact: Children get arthritis, too. Nearly 300,000 children are affected by arthritis.

Myth: Arthritis is just aches and pains. Fact: Arthritis is a more frequent cause of activity limitation than heart disease, cancer or diabetes and causes work limitations for nearly one in three people in the U.S.

Myth: Cold weather makes arthritis worse. Fact: There is no scientific evidence that a particular climate is better for people with arthritis, but changes in barometric pressure, often associated with inclement weather, may affect people with arthritis.

Myth: There is nothing I can do about arthritis. I just have to "live with it." Fact: Early diagnosis and management can prevent the long term pain and disability seen with many kinds of arthritis.

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