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NHIS Arthritis Surveillance - Text Description

Arthritis Prevalence in Women and Men

Age groupWomenMen
18–242.97511.8388
25–346.73624.7585
35–4415.034810.721
45–5426.634221.4491
55–6443.136530.7517
65–7452.1340.4893
75–8458.120145.7775
85+60.919347.2483

Data Source

  1. Theis KA, Helmick CG, Hootman JM. Arthritis burden and impact are greater among U.S. women than men: intervention opportunities. J Women’s Health 2007;16(4):441–453.

  2. Hootman J, Bolen J, Helmick C, Langmaid G. Prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation—United States, 2003–2005. MMWR [View the errata for this article here and here.] 2006;55(40):1089–1092. html; pdf [512K]

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Projected Prevalence of Doctor-Diagnosed Arthritis, US Adults Aged 18+ Years, 2005–2030

YearEstimated number of adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis
(in 1,000s)
MenWomenTotal
200518,48029,35847,838
201020,17831,70151,879
201521,73233,99355,725
202023,16436,24459,409
202524,62238,58763,209
203026,05340,91566,969

Data Source: 2003–2005 National Health Interview Survey

  1. Hootman JM, Helmick CG. Projections of U.S. prevalence of arthritis and associated activity limitations. Arthritis Rheum 2006;54(1):226–229.

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Percent of Adults with Activity and Arthritis Attributable Work Limitations in 2002

Limitation typePercent of Adults with Doctor-Diagnosed ArthritisNumber of Adults with Doctor-Diagnosed Arthritis (in Millions)
Activity limitation42%21
Work limitation31%8

Data Source: 2002 National Health Interview Survey

  1. Hootman J, Bolen J, Helmick C, Langmaid G. Prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation—United States, 2003-2005. MMWR [View the errata for this article here and here.] 2006;55(40):1089–1092. html; pdf [512K]

  2. Bolen J, Sniezek J, Theis K, Helmick CG, Hootman JM, Brady TJ et al. Racial/Ethnic differences in the prevalence and impact of doctor-diagnosed arthritis—United States, 2002. MMWR 2005;54(5):119–123. html; pdf [284K]

NOTE: Arthritis-Attributable Activity Limitation = responding “yes” to “Are you now limited in any way in any of your usual activities due to arthritis or joint symptoms”; Arthritis-Attributable Work Limitation = among working age population (18–64 years), responding “yes” to being limited in the type, amount, or whether they work due to arthritis.

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Number of Adults with Arthritis Reporting a Specific Functional Activity Limitation

Type of Functional LimitationNumber of Adults with Doctor-Diagnosed Arthritis (in Millions)
Stoop/bend7.8
Stand7.5
Walk6
Push5.2
Climb4.8
Carry3.6
Sit2.8
Reach2.4
Grasp1.9

Data Source: 2002 National Health Interview Survey

  1. Hootman JM, Jeffrey Sacks JJ, Helmick CG. Prevalence of arthritis-attributable activity limitations among adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis, United States, 2002. Arthritis Rheum 2004;50(9, suppl):5641.

NOTE: Functional limitation defined as “very difficult” or “can not do” for the following activities: stoop, bend or kneel; stand more than 2 hours; walk ¼ mile; push a heavy object; climb a flight of stairs; lift or carry 10 pounds; sit more than 2 hours; reach above head; grasp small objects.

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DBody Mass Index* Categories Among Adults With and Without Arthritis in 2002

Body Mass Index CategoryArthritis Status
Doctor-Diagnosed ArthritisNo Arthritis
Underweight/Normal31.2%43.9%
Overweight34.0%35.1%
Obese34.8%21.0%

Data source: 2002 National Health Interview Survey

  1. Felson DT, Zhang Y. An update on the epidemiology of knee and hip osteoarthritis with a view to prevention. Arthritis Rheum 1998;41(8):1343–1355.

*NOTE: Body Mass Index (BMI) calculated using the formula weight in kilograms/height in meters2. Underweight/normal=BMI < 25; Overweight = BMI 25-29.99; Obese = BMI ≥ 30.

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Proportion of Physically Inactive* Adults With and Without Arthritis in 2002

Arthritis StatusPercent of Inactive adults
Doctor-diagnosed arthritis43.6%
No arthritis36.4%

Data Source

  1. Shih M, Hootman JM, Kruger J, Helmick CG. Physical activity in men and women with arthritis, National Health Interview Survey, 2002. Am J Prev Med 2006;30(5):385-93.

*NOTE: Inactive = no reported leisure-time physical activity.

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Causes of Disability Among US Adults

Cause of disabilityNumber (in millions) among 47.5 million U.S. adults reporting a disability
Arthritis or rheumatism8.6
Back or spine problems7.6
Heart trouble3.0
Mental or emotional problem2.2
Lung or respiratory problem2.2
Diabetes2.0
Deafness or hearing problem1.9
Stiffness or deformity of limbs/extremities1.6
Blindness or vision problems1.5
Stroke1.1

Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2004 Survey of Income and Program Participation, Wave 5, June-September 2005. as reported in: Hootman JM, Brault MW, Helmick CG, Theis KA, Armour BS. Prevalence and Most Common Causes of Disability Among Adults — United States, 2005. MMWR 2009;58(16):421-426. html; pdf [1.3Mb]

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