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46 Million Americans Suffer From Arthritis
Date:1/4/2008

ritis, one of the most common types of arthritis," Helmick said. "We don't have any cures, we treat the symptoms and, when it gets bad enough, we do knee replacements, which are very expensive," he said.

As more people suffer from arthritis, the costs associated with the disease will also keep going up. Currently, the costs to the country from arthritis top more than $128 billion a year in lost earnings and medical care, Helmick said.

The researchers, from the National Arthritis Data Workgroup, used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, national surveys, and findings from community-based studies across the United States to determine the prevalence of arthritis in 2005 and beyond. The results were published in two papers in the January issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Key findings in the report include:

  • By 2030, almost 67 million people will have arthritis -- an increase of 40 percent. Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, affects almost 27 million Americans. That's a big increase from 1990, when 21 million suffered from the condition.
  • The prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis has declined to 1.3 million Americans, from 2.1 million in 1990.
  • The prevalence of gout, a form of inflammatory arthritis, has risen in 2005 to about 3 million up, from 2.1 million in 1990.
  • Currently, juvenile arthritis affects some 294,000 children between infancy and age 17.
  • An estimated 59 million Americans have suffered an episode of low back pain over the past three months, the researchers said, while 30 million have suffered neck pain over the same time period.

In addition, the report includes estimates for related conditions such as fibromyalgia, spondylarthritides, systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), systemic sclerosis, Sjgren's syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, polymyalgia, and rheumatic/giant cell arteritis.

One expert advised staying activ
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46 Million Americans Suffer From Arthritis
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