When many people think of arthritis, they think of a general "wear and tear" condition that affects the joints. But in fact, there are more than 100 different forms of arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Some of the most common types include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriatic arthritis, gout, juvenile idiopathic arthritis and osteoarthritis, which is the most widespread.
Read on to learn more arthritis stats.
Osteoarthritis vs. Inflammatory Arthritis
The different types of arthritis fall into two major groups, according to the Mayo Clinic:
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in joints wears down due to injury, overuse or age.
Inflammatory arthritis refers to a group of autoimmune diseases in which the body's own immune system attacks and damages its joints and tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form.
Arthritis Statistics Worldwide
Osteoarthritis affects more than 500 million people around the world (about 7% of the global population), according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation's 2019 Global Burden of Disease study. And as the world's population continues to age, more people will likely be diagnosed with joint diseases such as osteoarthritis, according to a 2019 report by the Arthritis Foundation.
Here's a look at how many people are currently affected by arthritis globally:
- Worldwide, an estimated 15 percent of people over the age of 60 have osteoarthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
- Osteoarthritis is the fifth most common disability in the world.
- Rheumatoid arthritis affects more than 18 million people worldwide, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation's 2019 Global Burden of Disease study.
- Psoriatic arthritis affects an estimated 2% to 3% of the global population, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. It typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 50.
Arthritis Prevalence in the U.S.
Nearly a quarter of the United States population has been diagnosed with arthritis — a total of 54 million people, according to the CDC. It's little wonder, then, that arthritis is the leading cause of disability among adults in the country, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
Here's how the data breaks down by types of arthritis:
- Osteoarthritis affects an estimated 30.8 million adults in the U.S., according to the Arthritis Foundation.
- About 1.3 million adults have rheumatoid arthritis.
- Lupus affects an estimated 161,000 people in the U.S., (although that number may be as high as 322,000), according to the CDC.
- Approximately 4 million people have Sjogren's syndrome, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
- Psoriatic arthritis affects an estimated 24 in 10,000 people, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
- Axial spondyloarthritis affects an estimated 1.7 to 2.7 million people, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
- About 8.3 million Americans have gout.
- Just under 300,000 children have juvenile idiopathic arthritis, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. That's about 1 in 1,000 children.
Prevalence of Arthritis by State and Territory in the U.S.
At least 1 in 6 adults in every state has arthritis. In states with the highest prevalence rates, about 1 in 4 people have arthritis, according to the CDC.
Here's the full breakdown:
- Alabama: 30.4%
- Alaska: 21.5%
- Arizona: 21.8%
- Arkansas: 27.1%
- California: 18.3%
- Colorado: 21.8%
- Connecticut: 21.6%
- Delaware: 24.6%
- District of Columbia: 19.9%
- Florida: 21.5%
- Georgia: 23.6%
- Guam: 17.9%
- Hawaii: 17.2%
- Idaho: 23.2%
- Illinois: 21.6%
- Indiana: 25.4%
- Iowa: 23.2%
- Kansas: 22.7%
- Kentucky: 29.3%
- Louisiana: 26.2%
- Maine: 26.4%
- Maryland: 21.5%
- Massachusetts: 22%
- Michigan: 27%
- Minnesota: 19.7%
- Mississippi: 26.6%
- Missouri: 26.8%
- Montana: 23.9%
- Nebraska: 21.5%
- Nevada: 20.1%
- New Hampshire: 23%
- New Jersey: 20.5%
- New Mexico: 22.2%
- New York: 21.5%
- North Carolina: 24.9%
- North Dakota: 21.6%
- Ohio: 25.3%
- Oklahoma: 25.7%
- Oregon: 24.5%
- Pennsylvania: 25.7%
- Puerto Rico: 20.6%
- Rhode Island: 24.2%
- South Carolina: 26.3%
- South Dakota: 21.8%
- Tennessee: 29.4%
- Texas: 19.8%
- Utah: 20.8%
- Vermont: 23.4%
- Virginia: 21.6%
- Washington: 22.6%
- West Virginia: 33.6%
- Wisconsin: 22.1%
- Wyoming: 24.1%
Arthritis Prevalence by Age, Sex and Race
People assigned female at birth (AFAB) are more likely than those assigned male at birth (AMAB) to have arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjogren's syndrome and, after the age of 60, osteoarthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
Here's a more detailed look at who is most affected by arthritis:
- People AFAB and over the age of 60 are almost twice as likely to have osteoarthritis than people AMAB in the same age group.
- About 18% of those AFAB over the age of 60 have osteoarthritis compared to 9.6% of people AMAB over the age of 60.
- People AFAB are two to three times more likely to have rheumatoid arthritis than those AMAB. There's no specific age of onset for rheumatoid arthritis, but it typically begins in middle age, according to the Mayo Clinic.
- About 15% to 20% of people with lupus develop the condition before the age of 18.
- About 80% of all lupus diagnoses are made in people AFAB between the ages of 15 and 44.
- Minorities in the U.S. — including Asians, African Americans, African Caribbeans and Hispanic Americans — are more likely to have lupus than white Americans, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
- About 9 in 10 people with Sjogren's syndrome are people AFAB.
- More young people AFAB than AMAB may have juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Arthritis Complications and Comorbidities Data
While there's no specific mortality rate for arthritis because the condition itself isn't deadly, it is more common in people who have certain other health problems, according to the CDC.
Here's a look at the conditions and complications that are linked to arthritis:
- 31% of people with arthritis have obesity.
- 47% of people with arthritis have diabetes. (Check out more diabetes statistics here.)
- 49% of people with arthritis have heart disease.
- In 2010, arthritis accounted for more than 100 million outpatient visits (accounting for about 10% of all visits), according to the Arthritis Foundation.
- An estimated 6.7 million hospitalizations occurred in 2011 because of arthritis (accounting for about 17% of all hospitalizations).
- Up to 757,000 knee replacements and 512,000 hip replacements were likely performed in the U.S. in 2010 and 2011. (The knees and hips are among the most common joints affected by arthritis.)
- Arthritis is the most common chronic condition among people in the U.S. who take opioids.
- Adults with arthritis are about 2.5 times more likely to fall more than once — and suffer an injury from one of those falls — than people who don't have arthritis, according to the CDC.
- About 23.7 million people ages 18 and older with arthritis — about 43.5% of those with the condition — say it limits their ability to do their usual activities, according to the CDC.
- About 16.8% of people with rheumatoid arthritis have depression, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
- Only 23% of children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis get enough physical activity (compared with about 66 percent of their peers).
The Cost of Arthritis
In 2013, the total national cost of arthritis was $303.5 billion — or about 1% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the U.S., according to the CDC. Here's a further breakdown of those numbers:
- The cost of treating arthritis in the U.S. in 2013 was $140 billion.
- Adults with arthritis may pay an estimated $2,117 in extra medical costs per year.
- People with arthritis lost about $164 billion in wages due to their condition in 2013.
- Adults with arthritis earned about $4,040 less than those without arthritis in 2013.
- In 2013, osteoarthritis was the second most expensive condition treated in U.S. hospitals, accounting for about $16.5 billion in costs.
- Knee osteoarthritis, in particular, accounts for more than $27 billion in health costs each year, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
- Each year, gout is responsible for about 7 million doctor's visits and $1 billion in medical costs in the U.S.
Is This an Emergency?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Arthritis FAQs"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Arthritis Types"
- Arthritis Foundation: "Arthritis by the Numbers"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Lupus"
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Psoriatic Arthritis"
- U.S. National Library: "Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "State-Specific 2015 BRFSS Arthritis Prevalence Estimates"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Arthritis, Comorbidities"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Arthritis-Related Statistics"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Prevalence of Arthritis-Attributable Limitations"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "The Cost of Arthritis in US Adults"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Arthritis"
- Mayo Clinic: "Arthritis: Symptoms and Causes"
- Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation: "Osteoarthritis — Level 3 cause"
- Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation: "Rheumatoid arthritis — Level 3 cause"
- Mayo Clinic: "Rheumatoid Arthritis: Symptoms and Causes"