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

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  • Osteoarthritis (OA): Nearly 27 million Americans suffer from OA, the most common type of arthritis, an increase from the 21 million estimated in 1990. Rising with age, OA prevalence also affects the hands and knees of women more frequently than men and of African Americans more frequently than whites.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): This confounding and destructive inflammatory disease affects 1.3 million adults, down from the 1990 estimate of 2.1 million--in part due to more restrictive classification criteria but also because of a real drop in prevalence . Trends show that the average age of diagnosis has increased steadily over time, suggesting that RA is becoming a disease of older adults.

  • Gout: In 2005 roughly 3 million Americans had gout in the previous 12 months, up from the estimate of 2.1 million in 1990. An inflammatory arthritis linked to elevated uric acid in the blood, gout tends to be most prevalent among older men and more prevalent in older African American males than in older white or Hispanic males.

  • Juvenile Arthritis: Based on recent data from pediatric ambulatory care visits, an estimated 294,000 children between the ages of infancy and 17 are affected by arthritis or other rheumatic conditions.

  • The report also includes 2005 prevalence estimates for fibromyalgia, spondylarthritides, systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, Sjgrens syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, polymyalgia rheumatic/giant cell arteritis, and back and neck pain.

Measuring the prevalence of arthritis poses many challenges, acknowledges National Arthritis Data Workgroup spokesperson and member, Dr. Charles G. Helmick. For starters, some conditions are episodic and others have no standard case definition. In addition, estimates for some rheumatic conditions rely on small or older studies with results tha
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Contact: Amy Molnar
amolnar@wiley.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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