Dr. Arthritis Shares: Arthritis By the Numbers

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Often an invisible disability, it’s hard for people who don’t suffer from arthritis to grasp the severity of the condition. So what better way to clearly illustrate how arthritis affects people’s lives than by looking at the numbers and statistics behind it–

1. Latest numbers show that in the US alone, 54.4 million US adults have some form of arthritis.

2. By 2040, there will be approximately 78 million adults (18 years and older) who will have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.

3. Prevalence of arthritis by age group:

  • Most recent statistics show that 7.1 percent of people between 18-44 years have reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
  • 29.3 percent of people between 45-64 years old have reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
  • Among those 65 years old and older, 49.6 percent have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
  • Doctor diagnosed arthritis is 26 percent more common in women than in men.

4. In 2015, 15 million adults reported severe joint pain due to arthritis.

5. Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions are a leading cause of work disability among US adults. 1 in 25 adults between 18-64 experience work limitations.

6. 23.7 million adults in the US have to limit their activities due to arthritis.

7. Adults suffering from arthritis are actually 2.5 times more likely to have two or more falls or have a fall related injury compared to those without.

8. Arthritis is actually considered one of the top five most costly conditions for adults 18 years and above.

9. Costs attributed to arthritis can reach up to $140 billion.

10. Lost wages due to arthritis reach an average of $164 billion.

11. 49 percent of adults with heart disease also have arthritis.

12. Arthritis is very strongly associated with depression and sufferers face 18.1 percent higher risk of experiencing it.

13. Arthritis isn’t just a condition experienced by the elderly. Nearly 300,000 babies and children  have arthritis or a rheumatic condition.

14. While difficult considering the pain, physical activity has been known to reduce pain and improve physical function among sufferers by 40 percent.

15. A whopping 172 million work days are lost because of arthritis and other related rheumatic conditions.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of arthritis statistics. But it should give you a pretty clear picture of the gravity and seriousness of the condition. Arthritis isn’t simply about aching joints. It’s not something that sufferers can sleep or shake off. It’s a debilitating condition that has to be managed everyday and it affects everything from livelihoods to personal relationships.

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