Spotlight Pediatric Arthritis
Estimating the Population Prevalence of Pediatric Arthritis
A new CDC study estimates that 294,000 U.S. children under age 18 (or 1 in 250 children) have been diagnosed with arthritis or other rheumatologic conditions. This study provides for the first time a national data-based estimate of the number of children diagnosed with arthritis and related rheumatic conditions across the United States and within each state, creating a benchmark to measure future shifts in occurrence. The study was prompted by a portion of the (proposed) Arthritis Prevention, Control, and Cure Act of 2004 which called for better determining the size of the childhood arthritis problem.
As a result, the CDC, in collaboration with several other organizations, began an intensive review of options on how to estimate the number of children with arthritis and other rheumatologic conditions and also what conditions should be included. In addition to providing these improved national estimates, the study also provides estimates for each state. CDC's first-ever estimates of childhood arthritis-related diagnoses show a state-by-state range from a low of 500 children in Wyoming to a high of 38,000 children in California. Study data also show that children diagnosed with arthritis and other rheumatologic conditions account for approximately 827,000 doctor visits each year, including an average of 83,000 emergency department room visits. Further information on the pediatric arthritis surveillance is available.
Sacks JJ, Helmick CG, Luo YH, Ilowite NT, Bowyer S. Prevalence of and annual ambulatory health care visits for pediatric arthritis and other rheumatologic conditions in the United States in 2001–2004. Arthritis Care Res 2007;57(8):1439–1445. abstract