Arthritis, which can wreak havoc on the joints, causes a constellation of symptoms. Some individuals have just mild joint pain, while others find that their ability to walk, drive, or even do household tasks is compromised. Osteoarthritis, the more common form of arthritis, is characterized by the breakdown of cartilage, the part of the joint that permits easy movement. It causes pain and stiffness but fortunately, there are effective treatments that range from getting more exercise to using analgesics and topical pain relievers.  Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, autoimmune disease that affects many different joints and can damage cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. Treatments range from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to corticosteroid medications.

Here's a look at the disease by the numbers.

27 million: Approximate number of U.S. adults living with osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

1.5 million: Number of individuals in the U.S. with rheumatoid arthritis.

66.8: Average age of an individual with rheumatoid arthritis.

$128 billion: Estimated annual cost of arthritis to the United States economy, including medical care and indirect expenses, such as lost wages.

39 million: Annual number of physician visits related to arthritis.

500,000: Annual number of hospitalizations related to arthritis.

50: Percentage of arthritis sufferers who don't think anything can be done to help them.

100: Number of different diseases, all referred to as arthritis, that affect areas in and around the joints.

2.5: Number of times women outnumber men in the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.

50: Percentage of adults over age 65 with doctor-diagnosed arthritis.

300,000: Approximate number of arthritis sufferers who are children.

3.1: Length in miles of the annual Arthritis Foundation's Arthritis Walk, dedicated to raising funds for arthritis research.

400 million: Number of dollars the Arthritis Foundation has committed for research since 1948.




Who Gets Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis Fact Sheet.

The Heavy Burden of Arthritis in the U.S.

Let's Move Together FAQ

Our Research Program

Arthritis in Women

Arthritis-Related Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention