National and state medical expenditures and lost earnings attributable to arthritis and other rheumatic conditions--United States, 2003

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2007 Jan 12;56(1):4-7.


Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, potentially limiting affected persons from walking a few blocks or climbing a flight of stairs. Using Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) data, CDC analyzed national and state-specific direct costs (i.e., medical expenditures) and indirect costs (i.e., lost earnings) attributable to arthritis and other rheumatic conditions (AORC) in the United States during 2003. This report describes the results of that analysis, which indicated that, in 2003, the total cost of AORC in the United States was approximately 128 billion dollars (80.8 billion dollars in direct and 47.0 billion dollars in indirect costs), equivalent to 1.2% of the 2003 U.S. gross domestic product. Total costs attributable to AORC, by state/area, ranged from 225.5 million dollars in the District of Columbia to 12.1 billion dollars in California. Total costs attributable to AORC have increased substantially since 1997, and that increase is expected to continue because of the aging of the population and increases in obesity and physical inactivity. These findings signal the need for broader implementation of effective public health interventions, such as arthritis and chronic disease self-management programs, which can reduce medical expenditures among persons with AORC.

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis / economics*
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Female
  • Health Expenditures
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rheumatic Diseases / economics*
  • United States