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Prevalence Statistics

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Overall Prevalence of Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases


In an November 2013 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced data estimating that 52.5 million U.S. adults suffer from arthritis - equating to about 23 percent.1

Prevalence among specific racial and ethnic groups

The CDC also reported that arthritis affects an estimated 3.1 million Hispanics in the United States. Published in the Feb. 18 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the study presents key findings among seven Hispanic and Latino subgroups including Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Dominicans, and Cubans.

Highlights included:

  • Puerto Ricans reported the highest age-adjusted prevalence of arthritis (21.8 percent) and Cubans/Cuban Americans the lowest (11.7 percent).2
  • Among all subgroups of Hispanics with arthritis, at least 20 percent of people with arthritis reported one or more of the three arthritis-attributable effects and limitations including activity limitations, work limitations, and severe joint pain.2  
  • For most subgroups, arthritis prevalence was highest among people 65 years and older, women, and people who were obese.2
  • Overall, an estimated 875,000 Hispanics ages 18-64 reported arthritis-attributable effects.2
  • Overall, an estimated 1.2 million Hispanics reported severe joint pain.2

Additional Statistics


The National Arthritis Data Workgroup reviewed data from national and regional surveys to estimate national prevalence rates of various rheumatic diseases based on 2005 U.S. Census data.

The results were published in an article titled, “Estimates of the Prevalence of Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Conditions in the United States” in the January 2008 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism. Part one of the article was published on pages 15 – 25 and part two was published on pages 26 – 35. If you are unable to download the article, send an e-mail with your fax number to Bonny Senkbeil.

A summary of the article is as follows:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis – 1.3 million U.S. adults3  
  • Juvenile arthritis – 294,000 people in the U.S.3
  • Spondylarthritides – 0.6 to 2.4 million U.S. adults over 153
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus – 161,000 to 322,000 U.S. adults3
  • Systemic sclerosis – 49,000 U.S. adults3
  • Sjögren’s syndrome – 0.4 to 3.1 million adults 3
  • Clinical osteoarthritis – 27 million U.S. people age 25 and older4
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica – 711,000 people in the U.S.4
  • Giant cell arteritis – 228,000 people in the U.S.4
  • Gout – eight million people in the U.S.4
  • Fibromyalgia – five million people in the U.S.4
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome – four to 10 million people in the U.S.4  
  • Low back pain– 59 million within the three months prior to the study4
  • Neck pain – 30.1 million within the three months prior to the study4

Learn More

Simple Tasks  is a public awareness campaign designed to educate national legislators and policymakers, administration officials, advocacy leaders, and physician groups about the value of rheumatology. Read the campaign's white paper to learn more information about the devastating impact of rheumatic diseases.


1 Centers for Disease Control and Protection. Prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis-attributable activity information- United States, 2010-2012. MMWR. 2012;62(44); 869-873. Information available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm6244.pdf.

2 Centers for Disease Control and Protection. Prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis-attributable effects among Hispanic adults, by Hispanic subgroup-  United States, 2007-2009. MMWR. 2011;60(06); 167-171. Information available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6006a2.htm?s_cid=mm6006a2_w

3 Helmick CG, Felson DT, Lawrence RC, et al. Estimates of the prevalence of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in the United States- Part I. Arthritis & Rheum. 2008: 58(1):15-25. Information available at http://www.rheumatology.org/ACR/about/newsroom/prevalence/prevalence-one.pdf

4 Lawrence RC, Felson DT, Helmick CG, et al. Estimates of the prevalence of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in the United States- Part II. Arthritis & Rheum. 2008: 58(1):26-35. Information available at http://www.rheumatology.org/ACR/about/newsroom/prevalence/prevalence-two.pdf