How common is arthritis?

By: Elizabeth Scherer

Arthritis is one of the most common health problems in the US. As of 1999, an estimated 43 million people - or 1 in 6 - had arthritis or a related condition. By the year 2020, nearly 60 million people will be affected by arthritis.

The Arthritis Foundation reports that daily activities, such as walking, bathing, grooming, and shopping, are limited for about 7 million people with arthritis. Arthritis can affect feelings of self-worth, relationships with others, and your ability to perform work.


How common is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It affects about 16 million people in the US. Like other forms of arthritis, its incidence is expected to rise since there is a large - and growing - percentage of people older than age 60 in the population. By age 75, almost everyone has cartilage damage in at least one joint.

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