U.S. Arthritis Statistics
Reveal Growing Problem

A government survey on arthritis statistics forecasts that 67 million or one out of four American adults will have arthritis by the year 2030, compared to 46 million now. The spike from 46 million to 67 million will occur as the U.S. baby-boomer population age.

According to annual arthritis information from combined 2003-2005 data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) as reported by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion:

  • 46.4 million (21.6%) of adults have self-reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis
  • 18.9 million (8.8% of all adults) have arthritis-attributable activity limitation. Based on the NHIS arthritis facts, an estimated:
  • 67 million (25%) adults aged 18 years and older will have doctor-diagnosed arthritis by the year 2030.
  • An estimated 25 million adults (9.3%) will report arthritis-attributable activity limitations.

Other arthritis facts

The Arthritis Foundation published the following arthritis statistics on May 29, 2007:

  • Arthritis costs our country $128 billion annually; $81 billion in direct medical costs, mostly due to persistent pain.
  • 294,000 children have a form of juvenile arthritis including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and scleroderma.
  • Nearly 19 million people with arthritis are forced to stop working within 10 years of diagnosis.
  • Americans with rheumatoid arthritis die 5 to 10 years earlier than persons without arthritis.
  • 9,500 Americans died due to arthritis in 2003.
  • Two-thirds of Americans diagnosed with arthritis are under the age of 65.

Weight impacts arthritis statistics for adults

People who are overweight or obese report more doctor-diagnosed arthritis than thinner people.

  • 16% of under/normal weight adults report doctor-diagnosed arthritis (NHIS survey)).
  • 21.7% of overweight and 30.6% among obese Americans report doctor-diagnosed arthritis (NHIS survey).
  • 66% of adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis are overweight or obese compared with 53% of adults without doctor-diagnosed arthritis (American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2006).
  • Weight loss of as little as 11 pounds reduces the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis among women by 50%. (Arthritis & Rheumatism Journal, 1998)

Physical activity limited by arthritis symptoms

Statistics of arthritis show almost 44% of adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis report no leisure time physical activity compared with 36% of adults without arthritis (American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2006)

Among older adults with knee osteoarthritis, engaging in moderate physical activity at least 3 times per week can reduce the risk of arthritis-related disability by 47% (Archive of Internal Medicine, 2001)

Among adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis, many report significant limitations in vital activities such as:

  • walking 1/4 mile—6 million
  • stooping/bending/kneeling—7.8 million
  • climbing stairs—4.8 million
  • social activities such as church and family gatherings—2.1 million
(Arthritis & Rheumatism Journal, 2004)

Prevalence of specific arthritis types

Other arthritis statistics from the Arthritis & Rheumatism Journal:

Other common rheumatic conditions include gout, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.

  • An estimated 1.3 million adults are affected by rheumatoid arthritis (a decrease from 2.1 million in the 1990’s).
  • An estimated 5.1 million adults report having a doctor diagnosis of gout.
  • An estimated 3.7 million adults have fibromyalgia.

Arthritis affects quality of life

A 2003 study reported in the Journal of Rheumatology, persons with doctor-diagnosed arthritis have significantly worse health-related quality of life (HRQOL) than those without arthritis.

Arthritis statistics showed that people with arthritis report more than twice as many unhealthy days and three times as many days with activity limitations in the past month than those without arthritis.

Do you think arthritis is just an old person’s disease? Not so. Nearly two-thirds of people with arthritis are younger than 65! What is arthritis? There are over 100 different types of arthritis, the most common of which is osteoarthritis. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or a related condition also affects approximately 1 in 250 children.

Arthritis is most common cause of disability in U.S.

Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States, limiting the activities of nearly one in five adults each year during 2003–2005. Among adults of working age (18–64 years), arthritis-related work limitations affect about 1 in 20 adults in the general population and one-third of those with arthritis.

Other arthritis statistics: In 2003, the total cost of arthritis—nearly $81 billion in medical costs and $47 billion in indirect costs was equal to 1.2% of the 2003 U.S. gross domestic product. Each year, arthritis results in 750,000 hospitalizations, 36 million outpatient visits and 9,500 deaths.

Although arthritis affects children and people of all racial and ethnic groups, it’s more common among women and older adults. While there is no arthritis cure, some children arthritis types, such as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, can be “outgrown” and become symptom-free into adulthood.

Most people experience arthritis symptoms in advance of a doctor diagnosis. Symptoms can serve as an early warning of the onset of arthritis. Pain, aches, stiffness and swelling of joints all signal the possibility of an arthritis condition.

More than half of adults with diabetes or heart disease also have arthritis. Physical activity is a crucial element of managing these chronic conditions. Nonetheless, research shows that pain, fear of pain, and lack of information on how to safely do exercises for arthritis prevents people with arthritis from exercising. Yet physical activity plays an important role in effectively managing diabetes or heart disease in people with arthritis.

Early diagnosis and appropriate arthritis prevention and arthritis pain management is important, especially for different types of inflammatory arthritis.

There is no cure for arthritis

There is no cure for arthritis. At best, health practitioners can only medicate the symptoms of arthritis and try to slow its progression.

In the light of current arthritis statistics and projections, one can clearly see the potential consequences of a lifetime of dependency on drugs for symptom relief.

All drugs have side effects. Long term use of over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription drugs is a concern for many arthritis patients. All of us know friends or relatives who have experienced side effects from drugs. Many times, a second drug is given to relieve the side effects of the first drug. Most of us know people who end up in a seemingly endless cycle of drugs.

Almost all forms of arthritis are treated initially with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If these do not sufficiently relieve the symptoms, especially pain, stronger drugs may be recommended.

You may be able to obtain arthritis relief naturally

Arthritis statistics reveal that increasing numbers of patients who have chronic conditions choose natural arthritis pain management when conventional drug therapies are of concern or have not provided acceptable results.

Natural dietary supplements have the same objective as drug treatment—relieve the pain and discomfort of arthritis.

The difference is that plant-based supplements are digested more easily by the body, without gastrointestinal bleeding or pain sometimes caused by drugs. At the same time, the body assimilates the nutrients from the plant or herbal supplement into the body’s cells.

Pharmaceutical drugs cannot do this. If a drug blocks pain, for instance, it does so by blocking a natural body function at the expense of overall reduction of the body’s own defense, the immune system.

A nutrient-based plant or herbal extract feeds the body’s own natural responses to pain, and does so while helping to rebuild vital joint tissues. Some natural products, such as glucosamine, can even help to rebuild cartilage.

Featured natural arthritis relief

This site provides arthritis statistics and information as a resource to increase the awareness of alternative natural arthritis treatments. Numerous clinical trials suggest that natural supplements benefit the quality of life for people with arthritis.

In trying to find a so-called "best supplement company", I developed a list of 30 questions. The answers led me to find a 50+ year-old industry leader. For details, click on how to find the best safe natural products and the best safe manufacturer.

Natural arthritis pain relief complements, or in some instances, replaces traditional pharmacological NSAID therapies. In the face of growing arthritis statistics it simply makes good sense to take as much safe control over your life as possible.

Alternative natural arthritis products and whole food vitamins have also become popular considerations for relieving osteoarthritis and other inflammatory arthritis symptoms.

Disclaimer: Health statements on this Arthritis Statistics page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

No Arthritis Cure. One of the facts of arthritis is that there’s no cure. This may surprise you. Don’t believe the hype of some products on the market. There is no scientific evidence that any treatment can cure most arthritis. Click here for more information

Arthritis Types. What is arthritis? It’s not just a single disease as I once thought.. Arthritis is a complex disorder that can affect people at any stage of life, including children, with over 100 types that symptoms can be relieved naturally. Click here for details

Arthritis Symptoms. Joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, inflammation, aching, swelling and sleep problems are all linked to arthritis symptoms that natural remedies can relieve. Click here to find out more

Arthritis Prevention. Exercise, weight control and natural dietary supplements have become popular alternative treatments for early arthritis symptoms without side effects of over-the-counter or prescription drugs. Click here for more

Chronic Pain Relief Naturally. Natural treatments not only relieve chronic pain, they can help the body rebuild. An estimated 50 million Americans are aggravated by the frustration of chronic pain. Click here for more information

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