U.S. Arthritis Statistics
Reveal Growing Problem
Arthritis statistics confirm the disease remains a burgeoning health crisis in America, according to facts published in 2018 by the Arthritis Foundation. Government and clinical
study forecasts project that 78.4 million adults (25.9 percent of all adults) will have doctor-diagnosed arthritis by the year 2040.
Currently, 54.4 million adults (22.7 percent) have doctor-diagnosed arthritis in the U.S. The spike from 54 million to 78 million will occur as the U.S. Baby Boomer generations age.
Researchers elieve that as many as 91.2 million adults (37 percent) in this country may actually have arthritis, when counting those who have reported arthritic symptoms but not severe enough to see a doctor for diagnosis.
These and other arthritis statistics are published in Arthritis By The Numbers, 2018 Edition by the Arthritis Foundation.
"Arthritis" is not a single disease; it's an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting 30.8 million American adults. It is also the most common cause of disability in adults. The lifetime risk of developing osteoarthritis of the knee is 45 percent.
By 2015, 23.7 million (43.5 percent of those with arthritis) had arthritis-attributable activity limitation, an increase of 20% compared to 2002 arthritis statistics. The number of adults with arthritis-attributable activity limitation will increase 52 percent to 34.6 million (ll.4 percent of all adults). (Hoopman 2016)
Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States. About 172 million work days are lost due to arthritis and other rheumatic conditions. In 2013, the total medical costs and earning losses due to arthritis were equal to $304 billion, more than 1 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).
Other arthritis statistics
In 2018 the Arthritis Foundation published the following arthritis statistics online:
- 300,000 children have a form of juvenile arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and lupus.
- Doctor-diagnosed arthritis is more common in women than in men. In some types, such as rheumatoid arthritis,, women far outnumber men.
- Almost two-thirds of adults in the U.S. with arthritis are of working age (18-64 years).
- Two-thirds of Americans diagnosed with arthritis are under the age of 65.
- Arthritis and other non-traumatic joint disorders are among the five most costly conditions among adults 18 and older.
- Arthritis is much more common among people who have other chronic conditions.
- 49 percent of adults with heart disease have arthritis
- 47 percent of adults with diabetes have arthritis
- 31 percent of adults who are obese have arthritis
- Among people with arthritis:
- Nearly one in four adults also has heart disease
- 19 percent have chronic respiratory conditions
- 16 percent have diabetes
- It is believed that arthritis likely comes first and results in these other health problems (Murphy 2009)
Weight impacts arthritis statistics for adults
Obesity in America affects 36.5 percent of all adults. People who are overweight or obese report more doctor-diagnosed arthritis than thinner people.
- Almost one-third (30.6) percent of all adults who are obese also have arthritis
- About half (49 percent) of adults with arthritis and who are obese have activity limitations
- Obese arthritis patients are more likely to have arthritis-connected activity and work limitation
- Be physically inactive
- Report depression and anxiety, and
- Have an increased risk of expensive knee replacement
- Weight loss of as little as 11 pounds reduces the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis among women by 50%. (Arthritis & Rheumatism Journal, 1998)
Arthritis statistics show physical activity limited by symptoms of the disease
Arthritis statistics show almost 44% of adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis report no leisure time physical activity compared with 36% of adults without arthritis (American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2006)
Among older adults with knee osteoarthritis, engaging in moderate physical activity at least 3 times per week can reduce the risk of arthritis-related disability by 47% (Archive of Internal Medicine, 2001)
Among adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis, many report significant limitations in vital activities such as:
(Arthritis & Rheumatism Journal
- walking 1/4 mile—6 million
- stooping/bending/kneeling—7.8 million
- climbing stairs—4.8 million
- social activities such as church and family gatherings—2.1 million
Physical activity can reduce pain and improve physical function by about 40 percent. (Barbour--MMWR (66) 2017
Arthritis statistics: Prevalence of autoimmune & inflammatory arthritis
The prevalence of autoimmune and inflammatory arthritis are led by psoriatic arthritis, gout, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, according to the Arthritis & Rheumatism Journal and Arthritis Foundation:
- An estimated 8.3 million adults report having a doctor diagnosis of gout.
- An estimated 7.4 million Americans have psoriatic arthritis
- An estimated 3.7 million adults have fibromyalgia.
- An estimated 1.3 million adults are affected by rheumatoid arthritis (a decrease from 2.1 million in the 1990’s).
Prevalence for other types of arthritis:
- Lupus--178 per 100,000 people
- Sjogren's Syndrome--Affects 0.2 percent to 3.0 percent
- Spondyloarthritis--0.9 percent to 1.4 percent of population
There is no cure for arthritis
There is no cure for arthritis. At best, health practitioners can only medicate the symptoms of arthritis and try to slow its progression.
In the light of current arthritis statistics and projections, one can clearly see the potential consequences of a lifetime of dependency on drugs for symptom relief.
It's of great concern to many arthritis patients that long-term use of drugs for a chronic problem can lead to adverse health consequences. All drugs have side effects. Continuous use of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs does not escape this fact. And nearly all prescription drugs are characterized by even stronger side effects.
All of us know friends or relatives who have experienced side effects from drugs. Many times, a second drug is given to relieve the side effects of the first drug. Most of us know people who end up in a seemingly endless cycle of drugs.
Almost all forms of arthritis are treated initially with acetaminophen (Tylenol) or one of several available non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), all available without prescription. If these do not sufficiently relieve the symptoms, especially pain, stronger prescription drugs is often the physician's logical next recommended step.
Arthritis statistics study: 62.5% of arthritis patients use dietary supplements
Arthritis statistics reveal that increasing numbers of patients who have chronic conditions choose natural arthritis pain management when conventional drug therapies are of concern or have not provided acceptable results.
One 2016 study, using a nationally-represented sample of 4,606 participants in the 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition examination Survey (NHANES), showed that 62.5 percent of adults with arthritis reported taking at least one dietary supplement within the past 30 days. This compared to 49.0 percent of adults without arthritis who used supplements.
Among 721 participants with arthritis that were taking at least one supplement, 15.1 percent indicated at least one of their supplements was 'for healthy joints, arthritis', compared to only 7.7 percent of participants without arthritis Glucosamine and/or chondroitin were the most common types of supplements used to improve joint health in arthritis.
Study conclusions: Given that roughly three out of five individuals with arthritis regularly use dietary supplements, health practitioners should be prepared to discuss potential benefits and risks of supplementation for the management of pain and function in arthritis. The research, Dietary supplementation is more prevalent among adults with arthritis in the United States, was authored by Patrick Wilson and published December 2016 in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine.
Arthritis relief naturally. Why plant-based supplements help arthritis
Natural dietary supplements have the same objective as drug treatment—relieve the pain and discomfort of arthritis.
The difference is that plant-based supplements are digested more easily by the body, without gastrointestinal bleeding or pain sometimes caused by drugs. As an addiional benefit, the body assimilates the nutrients from the plant or herbal supplement into the body’s cells.
Pharmaceutical drugs cannot do this. If a drug blocks pain, for instance, it does so by blocking a natural body function at the expense of overall reduction of the body’s own defense, the immune system.
A nutrient-based plant or herbal extract feeds the body’s own natural responses to pain, and does so while helping to rebuild vital joint tissues. Some natural products, such as glucosamine, can even help to rebuild cartilage.
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Disclaimer: Health statements on this Arthritis Statistics page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
No Arthritis Cure. One of the facts of arthritis is that there’s no cure. This may surprise you. Don’t believe the hype of some products on the market. There is no scientific evidence that any treatment can cure most arthritis. Click here for more information
Arthritis Types. What is arthritis? It’s not just a single disease as I once thought.. Arthritis is a complex disorder that can affect people at any stage of life, including children, with over 100 types that symptoms can be relieved naturally. Click here for details
Arthritis Symptoms. Joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, inflammation, aching, swelling and sleep problems are all linked to arthritis symptoms that natural remedies can relieve. Click here to find out more
Arthritis Prevention. Exercise, weight control and natural dietary supplements have become popular alternative treatments for early arthritis symptoms without side effects of over-the-counter or prescription drugs. Click here for more
Chronic Pain Relief Naturally. Natural treatments not only relieve chronic pain, they can help the body rebuild. An estimated 50 million Americans are aggravated by the frustration of chronic pain. Click here for more information
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