Arthritis Is Public Health Problem in the US

The National Arthritis Data Workgroup was formed to provide a single source of national data on various rheumatic conditions. Ist epidemiology experts use the best studies available to determine disease prevalence, assess potential disease impact, and identify gaps in our understanding of disease rates, populations, and social implications.

Based on analyses of population estimates from the Census Bureau, responses from national surveys, and findings from scores of community-based studies across the country, the National Arthritis Data Workgroup offers an unsettling snapshot of the 2005 and future burden of arthritis.
  • Overall arthritis: More than 21 percent of U.S. adults — over 46 million people - have arthritis or other rheumatic condition diagnosed by a doctor. By 2030, the number of people with arthritis is projected to increase to nearly 67 million — an increase of 40 percent.

  • Osteoarthritis (OA): Nearly 27 million Americans suffer from OA, an increase from the 21 million estimated in 1990. Rising with age, OA prevalence affects women more frequently than men.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): This disease affects 1.3 million adults, down from the 1990 estimate of 2.1 million. Trends show that the average age of diagnosis has increased steadily over time, suggesting that RA is becoming a disease of older adults.

  • Gout: In 2005 roughly 3 million Americans had gout in the previous 12 months, up from the estimate of 2.1 million in 1990.

  • Juvenile Arthritis: Based on recent data from pediatric ambulatory care visits, an estimated 294,000 children between the ages of infancy and 17 are affected by arthritis or other rheumatic conditions.

This report calls attention to the high prevalence of arthritis nationwide and the growing burden on not only the health care and public health systems, but also on American industry and society.; Source: Wiley-Blackwell