One of Five U.S. Adults over 18 Has Arthritis – and Half of those over 65
Research is showing that more and more people are getting arthritis. And arthritis is affecting more Americans per-capita than any other nation.
More than one adult in five over the age of 18 has arthritis and half of those over the age of 65, say researchers from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control in a 2013 report published on the MMWR Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The researchers surveyed and analyzed results from a survey of more than 94,000 Americans over the age of 18 – 27,157 adults in 2010, 33,014 adults in 2011 and 34,525 adults in 2012.
The results found that 22.7% of U.S. adults over 18 have been diagnosed by a doctor as having with arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus or fibromyalgia. They also found that half (49.7%) of those over the age of 65 have been diagnosed with arthritis.
Yet a surprising fact is that nearly two-thirds of those with arthritis are under the age of 65.
This number is double the rate for heart disease – with 11.5% of U.S. adults.
The CDC translated the survey results to over 52 million Americans with arthritis. This is a ten percent increase from 2005 – when 47 million were estimated to have the disease.
Furthermore, among those adults with heart disease, half also had been diagnosed with an arthritis condition. And 47% of those diagnosed with diabetes also were diagnosed with arthritis.
What does this say about arthritis? It indicates clearly that arthritis is an inflammatory disorder, related to other inflammatory disorders such as heart disease and diabetes. (While diabetes is categorized as a metabolic disease as well, it accompanies inflammation-related disorders such as atherosclerosis – inflammation of the artery walls.)
Arthritis is also the leading cause of disability by U.S. adults.
Americans have the highest rate of arthritis of all other nations.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation – United States, 2010-2012. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013 Nov 8;62(44):869-73.