Climbing Rates of Arthritis

Nearly 1 in 10 adults say joint pain limits their daily activities.

The number of adults with arthritis is growing by nearly 1 million every year, according to a new report released from the CDC. The report also found that activity limitation due to the disease is higher than earlier estimates.

An aging population and growing obesity has fueled a continual rise in rates of arthritis. Currently about 23% of American adults (52.5 million people) have arthritis, up from 21 million in the 2007-2009 CDC report.

Among people with arthritis, 43.2 % say the disease forces them to limit their daily activity levels, also known as arthritis-attributable activity limitation (AAAL). The rate of adults with AAAL exceeded earlier predictions, and suggested that by 2030, 25 million people will suffer from AAAL. The number of adults with arthritis is projected to increase to 55.7 million adults by 2015, and 67 million by 2030.

"The sharp rise in activity limitations is alarming," said Arthritis Foundation President and CEO, Ann M. Palmer, in a press release. "More people are hurting when they walk and climb the stairs, and they may be curbing activities they love due to severe pain and limited mobility caused by the disease.

Even more alarming was the high rate of comorbid conditions among people with arthritis. The disease was found to afflict about half of adults with heart disease and diabetes and nearly one third of obese adults. Fifteen percent of those people had AAAL.

"Because arthritis occurs so often with other conditions like diabetes and heart disease, arthritis limitations may be interfering with the recommended management of those conditions, especially in regards to physical activity," explained Director of the Division of Population Health at the CDC Dr. Wayne H. Giles.

Seeking natural management of arthritis, through chiropractic care and exercise, can help to decrease pain and improve mobility.


Barbour KE. Prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation -- United States, 2010-2012. MMWR; 2013;62(44):869-873.