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Arthritis Health Center

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About 21% of U.S. Adults Have Arthritis

Nearly 67 Million Adults Will Have Been Diagnosed With Arthritis by 2030, Experts Predict
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Jan. 2, 2008 -- More than 46 million U.S. adults -- more than 21% -- report ever being diagnosed with arthritis, and their ranks are expected to swell to 67 million adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis by 2030.

That news appears in January's edition of Arthritis & Rheumatism, along with these figures:

Other forms of arthritis, including ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis, together affect between 600,000 and 2.4 million adults. And between 4 million and 10 million people have carpal tunnel syndrome, the report shows.

Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, became even more common in recent years. In 1995, an estimated 21 million U.S. adults had osteoarthritis; that's almost 6 million fewer than at the researchers' last count.

Gout also appears to be on the rise. The number of people reporting gout in the previous year grew from 2.1 million in 1995 to 3 million a decade later.

Arthritis became more common with age and was more commonly reported by women than men.

Almost 9% of people reporting arthritis -- or an estimated 19 million people -- said arthritis limited their activities.

Apart from arthritis, 59 million people reported having low back pain and 30 million said they'd had neck pain in the previous three months.

Data came from government surveys conducted from 2003-2005 and from smaller, local surveys for certain types of arthritis. Participants' medical records weren't checked to confirm their self-reported arthritis diagnosis.

The researchers applied the survey findings to the U.S. population based on data from the 2005 census.

The new arthritis statistics are "the best available prevalence estimates for the U.S., but for most specific conditions, more studies ... are needed," write the CDC's Charles Helmick, MD, and colleagues.

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