Make a difference by selecting rheumatology as a subspecialty
50 Million Americans are waiting for you.
Rheumatic diseases, arthritis and other diseases of the muscles, joints and bones are common and have tremendous impact on the health of wellbeing of nearly 50 million Americans.Â The most severe of these—inflammatory rheumatic diseases' cause joint and organ destruction, severe pain, disability and even death.
People with these diseases are cared for by rheumatologists who - unlike any other health care providers - are equipped with the tools to detect and treat these diseases.
Rheumatology Fast Facts by the Numbers
- Number One Cause of Disability in the United States: Inflammatory rheumatic diseases, with arthritis, cause more disability in America than heart disease, cancer or diabetes.
- 50 million Americans:Â Rheumatic diseases, arthritis and other diseases of the muscles, joints and bones are common and have tremendous impact on nearly 50 million Americans.Â
- 100 diseases and conditions: Rheumatic diseases are often lumped under the term arthritis - a term used to describe over 100 diseases and conditions. Under this umbrella term, there are over 30 inflammatory rheumatic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, scleroderma, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome, spondylarthritides, polymyalgia rheumatica, and several forms of systemic vasculitis (including giant cell arteritis). And, this list doesn't include the most common form of arthritis, known as osteoarthritis, which is due to breakdown of bone and cartilage in joints rather than inflammation.
- 7 million American adults: Over 7 million American adults suffer from inflammatory rheumatic diseases; 1.3 million adults have rheumatoid arthritis; and 161,000 to 322,000 adults have lupus.
- 300,000 American children suffer from rheumatic diseases:Â Nearly 300,000 American children suffer from rheumatic diseases, the most common of which is juvenile idiopathic arthritis, which can cause the same type of pain, disability and co-existing diseases that adults with rheumatic diseases often experience. It is estimated that one child in every 1,000 will develop some form of rheumatic disease.
- 1 in 12 Women:Â 8.4 percent of women will develop a rheumatic disease during their lifetime. Women are 2 to 3 times more likely to be diagnosed with RA , and 10 times more likely to develop lupus than men.
- 1 in 20 Men: 5 percent of men in the U.S. will develop a rheumatic disease during their lifetime.
- Adults between the ages of 20 and 40:Â Inflammatory rheumatic diseases often strike people in the prime of their lives. For example, RA and lupus often develop between the ages of 20 and 40.Â Â
- $127.8 Billion: The latest figures regarding arthritis and other rheumatic diseases show that they led to $127.8 billion in medical costs in the U.S., nearly a quarter more than the $104 billion in costs for cancer care.
- 1.2 percent increase in rheumatology workforce: Although the demand for rheumatology services is expected to increase by 46 percent between 2005 and 2025, it is expected that the number of practicing rheumatologists in the same period will only increase by 1.2 percent
- Twice as likely to die : In their most severe form, rheumatic diseases can lead to life-threatening infections (such as pneumonia), and people suffering from them are at significantly