Rheumatoid Arthritis Statistics
What do we know about arthritis? How many people are affected by
arthritis? What effect is arthritis having on the workplace? Statistics gathered
from the Arthritis Foundation, the CDC, NHIS and other sources give us a picture
of how widespread arthritis really is.
In 2005, over 66 million Americans report having arthritis with over 23 million
of those not seeking the care of a doctor. Arthritis affects people of all ages
including over 300,000 children. Arthritis costs the US economy over 86.2 billion
dollars annually. This does not include indirect costs due to lost wages (in 1997)
of 35 billion dollars.
Arthritis is second only to heart disease as the leading cause of work disability
in America and is the leading cause of disability among Americans over age 15. It
affects women more than men, but still the numbers are high. It isn't partial to
race either-affecting non-Hispanic blacks at about the same rate as non-Hispanic
whites and Hispanics at only a slightly lower rate.
Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of the over 100 different types of arthritis
affecting an estimated 23 million Americans. Rheumatoid arthritis affects an estimated
3 million people in America.
By age groups 8.5 million people aged 18-44 report doctor-diagnosed arthritis. The
largest group is the 18.5 million with doctor-diagnosed arthritis aged 45-64 while
the over-65 age group report doctor-diagnosed arthritis in 15.7 million people.
The 15.7 million people in the over-65 group is the smallest total, however this
represents 47.8 percent of that age group.
Arthritis has an attributable risk of 18.1 percent for depression
mainly due to functional limitations. More than one third of people diagnosed with
arthritis report activity limitations. More than 7 million Americans report limitations
in daily activities such as walking, bathing, and dressing.
John H. Klippel, MD, Arthritis Foundation President and CEO, says, "This underscores
the importance of accessibility to new medications and increased federal funding
of arthritis research and chronic disease health support at a time when some arthritis
medications are being questioned and the federal budget for public health efforts
in arthritis is in danger of being cut."