WASHINGTON, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Nearly one quarter of U.S. adults, or 54 million, have arthritis and 24 million of them are limited in performing daily activities, a new report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Tuesday.
The percentage of adults with arthritis who have activity limitations grew from 35.9 percent in 2002 to 42.8 percent in 2014, according to the CDC report.
The report also found that almost 60 percent, or about 32 million, of those with arthritis are of working age.
In addition, about half of U.S. adults with heart disease or diabetes have arthritis and nearly one third of U.S. adults who are obese also have arthritis.
"Overall, arthritis -- a condition that can result in pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling of the joints -- is at an all-time high," the CDC said.
"Arthritis symptoms keep millions of Americans from going about their daily routines," CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat said in a statement, adding that physical activity is "a proven strategy" to ease pain and reduce symptoms among people with arthritis.
According to the CDC, when people with arthritis engage in physical activity, they can reduce their arthritis symptoms by up to 40 percent.
Yet, many adults with arthritis are not physically active. The new report said about one in three U.S. adults with arthritis report that they do not engage in physical activity during leisure time.
"Doctors and loved ones can help people with arthritis by encouraging them to be as physically active as they can be," Schuchat said.