Data and Analysis

The Virginia Arthritis Program uses the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for state-specific arthritis prevalence estimates.  Virginia has been collecting information on arthritis through BRFSS since 1996.  The BRFSS, also known as the Virginia Adult Health Survey (VAHS), is a telephone survey conducted by the health departments of all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam with assistance from CDC. The BRFSS is the largest continuously conducted telephone health surveillance system in the world.

Virginia Arthritis Fast Facts:

  • The prevalence of arthritis among Virginia adults aged 18 years or older was 27.9% (BRFSS, 2022).
  • Arthritis often co-occurs with other chronic diseases, resulting in further activity limitation, disability, and perhaps early mortality. Data indicate the prevalence of arthritis among adults with diabetes was 24.4%, and 13.8% among adults with heart disease, increasing the risk for disability (BRFSS, 2022).
  • Arthritis is a leading cause of disability among adults and affects Virginians’ quality of life. Among adults aged 18 years and older with arthritis, 29.6% reported work limitations and 40.6% reported limitations in daily activities (BRFSS, 2021).
  • Health districts located in the Southwest portion of Virginia had a higher prevalence of arthritis (35.9%) compared to other areas of the state (BRFSS, 2022).
  • Arthritis prevalence among Virginia health districts ranged from below 10% to over 45%, as seen in the map below. Cumberland Plateau, a health district located in the Southwest part, had the highest prevalence (45.2%).

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) study below highlights geographic variability in arthritis prevalence, physical inactivity, self-rated health status, and joint pain among adults with arthritis.

The two links below can be used to view Virginia-specific arthritis data broken down by demographic and geographic variables.

Arthritis in Adults in VA 2022

  • The prevalence of arthritis among adults in Virginia’s localities is estimated from BRFSS data every 3 years. Small area (i.e., city/county) estimates of 2020 BRFSS data indicate a prevalence ranging between 19% to 62.4%, and over 85% of localities in Virginia had an arthritis prevalence higher than the state prevalence of 27.9%.

Virginia map of Arthritis in adults 2020

Other Resources

 If you have any questions or data requests please contact: