Term: Arthritis

Glossary Definition

Last Updated: 2009-08-27


A group of conditions that affect the health of the bone joints in the body. Arthritic diseases include rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, which are autoimmune diseases; septic arthritis caused by joint infection; and the more common osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. Arthritis can be caused from strains and injuries caused by repetitive motion, sports, overexertion, and falls. Unlike the autoimmune diseases, osteoarthritis largely affects older people and results from the degeneration of joint cartilage (Lix et al., 2006).

See MedlinePlus® - Health Topics - Arthritis for more information.

An operational definition of arthritis can be defined by using ICD codes alone or in combination with prescription drugs. Please see the concept Arthritis - Measuring Prevalence for more detailed information.

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