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

The Prevalence Of Arthritis Is On The Rise

A new study from CDC reports that 52.5 million U.S. adults had arthritis in 2010-2012, an increase from 2007–2009 (50 million). This new estimate is in line to match future projected prevalence estimates of 67 million by the year 2030. The study also reports 22.7 million (43.2% of adults with arthritis) reported having activity limitations because of their arthritis. For arthritis-attributable activity limitations (AAAL), this estimate exceeds the earlier projection of 22 million adults with AAAL by 2020 and therefore may soon exceed the 25 million projected for 2030.

AAAL is particularly common in adults who have arthritis as well as one of three coexisting chronic health conditions: diabetes, heart disease, or obesity. People with these conditions also have higher than average rates of arthritis.  The study found that about half of all adults with heart disease or diabetes had arthritis and more than a quarter of those adults with either condition and arthritis reported arthritis- attributable activity limitations. Almost one- third of adults who were obese also had arthritis, and more than 15% of these adults had AAAL.

Physical activity can help people to manage arthritis and these coexisting health conditions.  To address this growing problem and promote physical activity in adults with arthritis and chronic conditions, health care providers and public health practitioners may encourage the use of self-management education and physical activity programs to reduce pain and activity limitations and improve functioning, health, and quality of life.

This study analyzed three years of data from the National Health Interview Survey, which interviews a sample of civilian, non-institutionalized U.S. population of all ages. The extra years of data allowed CDC to update previous estimates of arthritis prevalence and arthritis-attributable activity limitation and to analyze the prevalence of arthritis by selected characteristics, including doctor-diagnosed heart disease, doctor-diagnosed diabetes, and body mass index category.


CDC. Prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation—United States, 2010–2012. MMWR 2013;62(44).


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 The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC-INFO