Prevalence of arthritis--United States, 1997

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2001 May 4;50(17):334-6.


Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions (i.e., arthritis) are among the most prevalent diseases in the United States (1) and the most frequent cause of disability (2). In 1985, an estimated 35 million persons were affected by arthritis (3); in 1990 (1), a study using a broader arthritis definition estimated that 38 million were affected. To better characterize these conditions, CDC analyzed a variety of data for 1997 using common definitions from the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM). The findings of one such analysis in the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) indicated that, in 1997, the prevalence of persons with arthritis had increased by approximately 750,000 per year since 1990. Findings also support earlier projections that by 2020, 60 million persons may be affected by arthritis and that the activities of 11.6 million persons may be limited by arthritis (1). More widespread implementation of existing interventions may reduce the occurrence and progression of arthritis.

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • United States / epidemiology