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Arthritis pain worse among the poorly educated

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Arthritis and joint pain aren’t the same for everyone—the disease’s severity is also influenced by where you live and your education level.

Although 59 million Americans suffer from arthritis, joint pain differs from state to state—it’s three times more prevalent in the southern states, and especially lower Mississippi Valley and southern Appalachia, and according to a person’s level of education.  

Researchers from the University of Buffalo have discovered that joint pain affects 6.9 per cent of the population of Minnesota and 23 percent in West Virginia, where 31 percent of the population didn’t finish high school.

But these are superficial observations of something deeper going on, the researchers say.  Some states offer better support services, and educated people are more likely to eat a healthier diet.  Poorer regions, where fewer people have a university degree, are also more likely to have social factors, such as conflict and isolation, that can affect the severity of arthritis.

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References
Pain, 2023; doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000002945
Article Topics: arthritis, joint pain
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