Emergency room visits related to arthritis and other rheumatic conditions rose 34% over a five-year period in Nebraska, while hospitalizations for these conditions rose 22%, according to a recent University of Nebraska study. These findings underscore the various serious health problems associated with arthritis beyond the joints, such as heart disease, and the growing impact of obesity, which can lead to osteoarthritis and gout. The study authors concluded that their findings reflect “a formidable challenge to public health systems.”

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