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

Spotlight Prevalence

The prevalence of arthritis is on the rise.

Graph showing the percent of arthritis prevalence of adults in the U.S. 2007-2009 that are normal/ underweight, overweight and obese. 16.9 % of people with arthritis are normal/underweight, 19.8 % of people with arthritis are overweight, and 29.6 % of people with arthritis are obese.A new study from CDC reports that 50 million U.S. adults had arthritis in 2007-2009, an increase from 2003–2005 (46 million). This new estimate is in line to match future projected prevalence estimates of 67 million by the year 2030 and suggest that the number of adults with arthritis is growing by almost 1 million per year. The study also reports more than 21 million (42% of adults with arthritis) reported having activity limitations because of their arthritis. This estimate is higher than expected on the basis of future projected estimates of 25 million by 2030.

Obesity may be a special problem in arthritis; 1 in 3 obese adults report having arthritis. Obesity is associated with incident knee osteoarthritis (OA), disease progression, disability, total joint replacement, and poor clinical outcomes after joint replacement and likely has a critical role in the increasing population burden and impact of arthritis. Even small amounts of weight loss (approximately 11 lbs) may cut the risk of getting knee osteoarthritis by 50%. Information on losing and managing your weight is available here.

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 body mass index categories.

Data source

Cheng YJ, Hootman JM, Murphy LB, Langmaid GA, Helmick CG. Prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation — United States, 2007–2009. MMWR 2010;59(39):1261–1265. html pdf [1.61 MB]


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