The National Arthritis Data Workgroup is a consortium of experts in epidemiology organized to provide a single source of national data on the prevalence and impact of rheumatic diseases. It is supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, NIH; the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and National Center for Health Statistics, CDC; the American College of Rheumatology; and the Arthritis Foundation.
Estimates of the prevalence of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in the United States: Part I†
Article first published online: 28 DEC 2007
Copyright © 2008 by the American College of Rheumatology
Arthritis & Rheumatism
Volume 58, Issue 1, pages 15–25, January 2008
How to Cite
Helmick, C. G., Felson, D. T., Lawrence, R. C., Gabriel, S., Hirsch, R., Kwoh, C. K., Liang, M. H., Kremers, H. M., Mayes, M. D., Merkel, P. A., Pillemer, S. R., Reveille, J. D., Stone, J. H. and National Arthritis Data Workgroup (2008), Estimates of the prevalence of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in the United States: Part I. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 58: 15–25. doi: 10.1002/art.23177
The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, or the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Issue published online: 28 DEC 2007
- Article first published online: 28 DEC 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 SEP 2007
- Manuscript Received: 7 JUN 2007
To provide a single source for the best available estimates of the US prevalence of and number of individuals affected by arthritis overall, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, the spondylarthritides, systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, and Sjögren's syndrome. A companion article (part II) addresses additional conditions.
The National Arthritis Data Workgroup reviewed published analyses from available national surveys, such as the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). For analysis of overall arthritis, we used the NHIS. Because data based on national population samples are unavailable for most specific rheumatic conditions, we derived estimates from published studies of smaller, defined populations. For specific conditions, the best available prevalence estimates were applied to the corresponding 2005 US population estimates from the Census Bureau, to estimate the number affected with each condition.
More than 21% of US adults (46.4 million persons) were found to have self-reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis. We estimated that rheumatoid arthritis affects 1.3 million adults (down from the estimate of 2.1 million for 1995), juvenile arthritis affects 294,000 children, spondylarthritides affect from 0.6 million to 2.4 million adults, systemic lupus erythematosus affects from 161,000 to 322,000 adults, systemic sclerosis affects 49,000 adults, and primary Sjögren's syndrome affects from 0.4 million to 3.1 million adults.
Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions continue to be a large and growing public health problem. Estimates for many specific rheumatic conditions rely on a few, small studies of uncertain generalizability to the US population. This report provides the best available prevalence estimates for the US, but for most specific conditions, more studies generalizable to the US or addressing understudied populations are needed.