Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home

Quick Stats on Arthritis

Prevalence

  • 52.5 million adults in the United States have doctor-diagnosed arthritis (just over 1 in 5 adults). Read more.

  • The percentage of adults with arthritis ranges from 20% in California to 36% in Kentucky. State median is 26% in 2009. View the prevalence data for each state – list of statesclickable map.

  • Arthritis affects all race and ethnic groups: 36 million whites, 4.6 million blacks, 2.9 million Hispanics, 280,000 American Indians/Alaska Natives, 667,000 Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 469,000 multiracial/others. Read more.

  • The risk of arthritis increases with age and is more common among women than men. Read more.

  • In all U.S. states, 1 in 20 working-age adults (18-64 years old) face work limitations they attribute to arthritis; among those with arthritis, 1 in 3 have work limitations. The prevalence of work limitations due to arthritis varies by state. Read more.

  • An estimated 294,000 children under age 18 have some form of arthritis or rheumatic condition, this represents approximately 1 in every 250 children. abstractarthritis type tablestate table

Impact

  • Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States. Read more. View graph.

  • Number of U. S. Adults Reporting a Disability is Increasing — A new CDC study shows that 47.5 million US adults (21.8%) reported a disability in 2005, an increase of 3.4 million from 1999. Arthritis or rheumatism (8.6 million) continues to be the most common cause of disability, while back or spine problems (7.6 million) and heart trouble (3.0 million) round out the top three causes. Read more in the MMWR.

  • 22.7 million U.S. adults have arthritis-attributable activity limitations. Read more.

  • State-specific prevalence estimates of arthritis-attributable work limitation show a high impact of arthritis on working-age (18-64 years) adults in all U.S. states, ranging from a low of 3.4% to a high of 15% of 1 in 2 adults with arthritis in this age group. Read more. State maps relating to this publication are available. Map 1 and Map 2

  • 8.2 million working-age (18-64 years) U.S. adults (about 1 in 20) report work limitations due to arthritis or joint symptoms. Read more.

  • Blacks and Hispanics with arthritis have almost twice the prevalence of work limitation and severe pain compared to Whites. Read more.

Top of Page

Cost

  • In 2003, the total cost attributed to arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in the United States was 128 billion dollars, up from 86.2 billion dollars in 1997. (There were $80.8 billion in medical care expenditures and $47 billion in earnings losses). Read more.

  • Medical expenditures (direct costs) for arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in 2003 were 80.8 billion dollars, up from 51.1 billion in 1997. Read more.

  • Earnings losses (indirect costs) for arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in 2003 were 47 billion dollars, up from 35.1 billion in 1997. Read more.

  • State costs ranged from $121 million in Wyoming to $8.4 billion in California. Read more.

Top of Page

Interventions

  • Effective strategies exist to reduce the impact of arthritis. Read more.

  • Anticipating employment disability due to arthritis and addressing employment barriers through increased education, awareness, workplace accommodations, and other interventions can help reduce arthritis disability in the U.S. workforce. Read more.

Top of Page

Comorbidity

  • A third of obese adults have arthritis. A CDC study shows that arthritis may be an unrecognized barrier for obese adults attempting to manage their condition through physical activity. Adults with obesity and arthritis were 44% more likely to be physically inactive compared with obese adults without arthritis. Read more in the MMWR and Spotlight.

  • More than half of adults with heart disease have arthritis. A CDC study shows that arthritis may be an unrecognized barrier for adults with heart disease attempting to manage their condition through physical activity; 29% of people with both conditions are physically inactive compared to 21% with heart disease alone. Read more in the MMWR and Spotlight and CDC Feature.

  • More than half of adults with diagnosed diabetes also have arthritis. A recent study found that 30% of adults with arthritis and diabetes were physically inactive, compared with 21% of people with diabetes alone. Among people with diabetes, the high frequency of arthritis appears to be an under recognized barrier to increasing physical activity, a recommended diabetes intervention. Engaging in joint friendly activities; such as, walking, swimming, biking, and participating in available arthritis-specific exercise interventions can help manage both conditions. Read more.

  • More information on arthritis and comorbidities is available.

Top of Page

Lifetime risk of symptomatic osteoarthritis

  • Nearly 1 in 2 people may develop symptomatic knee OA by age 85 years. Read the abstract and Spotlight.

  • Two in three people who are obese may develop symptomatic knee OA in their lifetime. Read the abstract and Spotlight.

  • 1 in 4 people may develop painful hip arthritis in their lifetime. Read the abstract and Spotlight.

Related Links

 
 

Contact Us:
  • Arthritis Program
    Mailstop F-78
    4770 Buford Hwy NE
    Atlanta, GA 30341-3724
  • Phone: 770.488.5114
    Fax: 770.488.5964
  • Contact CDC-Info
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC-INFO