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Prevalence of Arthritis Is Increasing

Arthritis is a leading cause of disability among adults in the United States, and the prevalence of arthritis and related physical limitations continues to increase, according to the latest estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (October 2021). To update the estimates, the CDC used data from the ongoing National Health Interview Survey from 2016 to 2018. Survey questions include whether a healthcare professional has diagnosed arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus or fibromyalgia. Survey participants are also asked whether they have limitations in usual activities because of arthritis. An estimated 58.5 million adults ages 18 and over (23.7%) reported arthritis, 25.7 million (43.9%) of whom have limitations. More than half of adults ages 65 and older have arthritis. These numbers have been steadily rising over the past 15 years.

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