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The prevalence and impact of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in the United States
Date:1/2/2008

Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States. Over the next 25 years as the Baby Boom generation continues to age, the toll of this disease will escalate. To have a clear picture of the looming disease burden and its impact on our nations health care and public health systems, estimating disease prevalencethe number of people affected by any form of arthritisis critical.

The National Arthritis Data Workgroup was formed to provide a single source of national data on various rheumatic conditions. Supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, the American College of Rheumatology, and the Arthritis Foundation, its epidemiology experts use the best studies available to determine disease prevalence, assess potential disease impact, and identify gaps in our understanding of disease rates, populations, and social implications. In the January 2008 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/arthritis), the group presents its latest report on the troubling state of arthritis in America.

Based on analyses of population estimates from the Census Bureau, responses from national surveys, and findings from scores of community-based studies across the country, the National Arthritis Data Workgroup offers an unsettling snapshot of the 2005 (and future) burden of arthritis. Some key findings of the study include:

  • Overall arthritis: More than 21 percent of U.S. adultsover 46 million people-- have arthritis or other rheumatic condition diagnosed by a doctor. Nearly two-thirds of arthritis patients are younger than 65. More than 60 percent are women. Disease rates are similar for whites and African-Americans and higher than the rates for Hispanics. By 2030, the number of people with arthritis is projected to increase to nearly 67 millionan increase of 40 percent.

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Contact: Amy Molnar
amolnar@wiley.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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