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Arthritis on the Rise

Group of people with exercise equipment About 54 million U.S. adults have arthritis. However, the number of men and women with arthritis is growing and expected to reach more than 78 million in 2040, according to a new CDC study.

Learning what to do so you feel your best with arthritis, and being active are recommended for people with arthritis.

Arthritis Increases

CDC estimates that the number of men and women with arthritis will increase almost 49% to more than 78 million in 2040. About half of those with arthritis are working age adults—age 18 to 64 years.

In this just released study, an estimated 34 million adults will be limited in their usual activities because of their arthritis in 2040, an increase of 52%.

Impact of Increased Arthritis

As the number of people with arthritis increases, their need for special medical care will grow as well. Providers who are experts in arthritis, like rheumatologists and orthopedic surgeons, may be harder to find and expensive. In addition, programs like Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare will also be impacted by the growing number of arthritis patients.

Infographic: Arthritis affects on in five adults in the United States. That's about 53 million adults. This figure will rise to over 78 million adults by the year 2040.

Among the Millions with Arthritis?

If a doctor has told you that you have arthritis, you can take steps to improve your health. CDC recommends physical activity and self-management education programs to help you live better with arthritis.

  • Be Active
    Physical activity decreases arthritis pain, improves people’s ability to do their usual activities, and delays disability. CDC recommends that people with arthritis be moderately physically active for 150 minutes per week. You can do that by walking 30 minutes a day for five days a week, which can be broken down into three ten minute sessions throughout the day. CDC also recommends physical activity programs that are proven to improve the quality of life of people with arthritis.
  • Learn New Skills
    Attending self-management education programs can help adults with arthritis learn ways to manage pain, reduce depression and frustration, and gain control of their arthritis. Learning these new skills to help you feel your best can increase your confidence to manage arthritis and other conditions daily. Using these skills can make it easier to age well with arthritis and thrive.

SOURCE: Hootman JM, Helmick CG, Barbour KE, Theis KA, Boring MA. Updated projected prevalence of self-reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitations among US adults, 2015-2040. Arth Rheum, 2016