As one of the most widespread health conditions and the number one cause of disability in the United States, arthritis affects over 50 million adults in the U.S. And according to the Arthritis Foundation, that number is expected to grow to 67 million by the year 2030. To help recognize the toll arthritis takes on many Americans’ health, the CDC along with the Arthritis Foundation and other partners observe Arthritis Awareness Month in May.

Arthritis Statistics

To understand the full impact that arthritis has on the health of Americans, it can be helpful to take a look at the numbers. According to the Arthritis Foundation:

  • Nearly 53 million adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis; that number is expected to grow to 67 million by 2030.
  • Almost 300,000 babies, kids and teens have arthritis or a rheumatic condition.
  • Arthritis is the nation’s number one cause of disability.

And that is just part of the story. To view a more comprehensive list of arthritis statistics, click here.

Arthritis by Population

There are many risk factors that may increase your likelihood of getting arthritis. One risk factor is your lifestyle. Inactivity and obesity as well as overactivity or repetitive motions may lead to arthritis. Additionally, genetics and age can increase your risk of arthritis. Certain populations are also at an increased risk of developing arthritis.

One interesting population that the CDC discovered was more at risk of arthritis was those living in rural areas. Researchers found that adults living in rural areas were more affected than those living in urban areas. Additionally, those living in the most rural areas were more limited by their arthritis. The researchers concluded that this may be due to recognized rural risk factors including older age and higher rates of obesity.

Get Active to Improve Arthritis

No matter where you live, staying active can potentially reduce the risk of developing arthritis and/or reduce the symptoms of arthritis. Walking or other aerobic exercise can be beneficial to those with and without arthritis. And what better time to get started than during Arthritis Awareness Month? For more information, read our recent blog about exercising with arthritis.