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Arthritis-Related Statistics

Note: There are different data sources for some of the arthritis related statistics; therefore, case definitions and terminology will also vary. Read more.

Prevalence of Arthritis in the United States

  • From 2010- 2012, an estimated 52.5 million US adults (22.7%) annually had ever been told by a doctor that they had some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia.1
  • The percentage of adults with arthritis varies by state, ranging from 17.2% in Hawaii to 33.6% in West Virginia in 2015. View more state- specific prevalence data.
  • The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. Other common rheumatic conditions include gout, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Projected Prevalence
  • By 2040, an estimated 78 million (26%) US adults ages 18 years or older are projected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.2

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Prevalence of Arthritis by Age/Race/Gender

  • The risk of arthritis increases with age and arthritis is more common among women than men.1
  • From 2010 to 2012 in the United States
    • Of persons ages 18–44, 7.3% ever reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis.1
    • Of persons ages 45–64, 30.3% ever reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis.1
    • Of persons ages 65 or older, 49.7% ever reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis.1
    • Twenty-six percent of women and 19.1% men ever reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis.1
    • 4 million Hispanic adults ever reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis.1
    • 5.9 million Non-Hispanic Blacks ever reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis.1
    • 1.2 million Non-Hispanic Asians ever reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis.1


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Overweight/Obesity and Arthritis 

  • Adults 18 or older who are overweight or obese report doctor-diagnosed arthritis more often than adults with a lower body mass index (BMI).
    • Almost 16% of under/normal weight adults report doctor-diagnosed arthritis.1
    • Almost 23% of overweight and 31% of obese US adults report doctor-diagnosed arthritis.1

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Disability/Limitations and Arthritis

Leading Cause of Disability
  • Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions are a leading cause of disability among US adults, and were a leading cause of disability among US adults for the past 15 years.3 
Activity Limitation
  • Among all civilian, non-institutionalized US adults 9.8% (22.7 million) had both doctor-diagnosed arthritis and arthritis attributable activity limitations in 2010-2012.1
  • Around 43% of adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis also had arthritis-attributable activity limitations in 2010-2012.1
Work Limitation
  •  In all US states, 1 in 25 working-age adults (18-64 years old) face work limitations they attribute to arthritis; among those with arthritis, at least 1 in 4 have work limitations. The prevalence of work limitations due to arthritis varies by state. View state- specific prevalence data.
Risk of Falls and Fall Injuries
  • Adults with arthritis were about 2.5 times more likely to have two or more falls and suffer a fall injury in the past 12 months compared with adults without arthritis.4

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  1. Barbour KE, Helmick CG, Theis KA, Murphy LB, Hootman JM, Brady TJ, et al. Prevalence of Doctor-Diagnosed Arthritis and Arthritis-Attributable Activity Limitation — United States, 2010–2012. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013;62(44):869-873. PubMed PMID: 24196662.
  2. Hootman JM, Helmick CG, Barbour KE, Theis KA, Boring MA.  Updated projected prevalence of self-reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation among US adults, 2015-2040.  Arthritis & Rheumatology. 2016 Mar 25. [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1002/art.39692. PubMed PMID: 27015600.
  3. United States Bone and Joint Initiative: The Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases in the United States (BMUS), Third Edition, 2014. Rosemont, IL. Available at Accessed on April 19, 2014.
  4. Barbour KE, Stevens JA, Helmick CG,Luo YH, Murphy LB, Hootman JM, Theis KA, Anderson LA, Baker NA, Sugerman DE. Falls and fall injuries among adults with arthritis—United States, 2012. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014;63(17):379-383.

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