Objective: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a prominent musculoskeletal disorder that affects approximately 303 million people worldwide. The challenges that language barriers present to the Latina population in regard to the diagnosis and treatment of OA remain largely unknown. The objective of this study was to examine disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritic conditions in English- and Spanish-speaking Latinas over 40 years of age.
Design: We analyzed data from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Screening and Surveillance System (BRFSS), combining the 2017–2020 cycles using sampling weights provided by BRFSS, adjusted for multiple cycles. Determination of English- or Spanish-speaking groups was based on the language of the survey submitted. We calculated population estimates for arthritis diagnosis, physical limitations, and mean joint pain among language groups and by age (40–64 and 65+) and determined associations via odds ratios.
Results: Rates of arthritis diagnosis between groups were similar; however we found that Spanish-speaking Latinas 65+ were statistically more likely to report being limited by pain (AOR: 1.55; 95% CI: 1.14–2.09), and among both age groups Spanish-speaking Latinas reported higher pain scores than the English-speaking group (40–64 age group: Coef: 0.74, SE = 0.14, P <.001; 65 + age group: Coef: 1.05, SE = 0.2, P <.001).
Conclusion: Results from this study show that while there were no significant differences in rates of diagnosis, Spanish-speaking Latinas were more likely to be limited by joint pain and report higher pain scores.