Prevalence Statistics

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention March 2017 Vital Signs announced data estimating that 54.4 million U.S. adults suffer from arthritis - equating to about 25% of the population. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability, and causes pain, aching, stiffness and swelling of the joints. The most common types are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus and fibromyalgia. By 2040, an estimated 78 million (26%) U.S. adults ages 18 years or older are projected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. 1

Arthritis 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 February 2011 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%) and Cubans/Cuban Americans the lowest (11.7%).2
  • Among all subgroups of Hispanics with arthritis, at least 20% 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 Arthritis 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 & RheumatismPart 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 email with your fax number to Public Relations.

Summary of the article:

  • 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 – 8 million people in the U.S.4
  • Fibromyalgia – 5 million people in the U.S.4
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome – 4 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

1 Barbour KE, Helmick CG, Boring M, Brady TJ. Vital Signs: Prevalence of Doctor-Diagnosed Arthritis and Arthritis-Attributable Activity Limitation - United States, 2013–2015. MMWR 2017; 66:246–253. DOI.

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.

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.

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.

© 2020 American College of Rheumatology.  All rights reserved.  Website & Privacy Policies | Sitemap | Help | Contact Us