The number of people expected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis by the year 2040: more than 78 million. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability among adults in the U.S. (Barbour 2013)

  • Annually, 172 million work days are lost due to arthritis and other rheumatic conditions. (BMUS 2014)
  • In 2013, fewer adults with arthritis (77 percent) were able to work compared to adults without the disease (84 percent). (Murphy 2017)
  • In 2013, total medical costs and earnings losses due to arthritis were $304 billion (about 1 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product for 2013).
  • Total earnings losses were higher than medical costs. (Murphy 2017)
  • In 2013, earnings losses were $164 billion (for adults with arthritis between ages 18 and 65).
  • The average adult with arthritis earned $4,040 less than an adult without the disease. (Murphy 2017)

More than half of all people with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (OA) are younger than age 65 and will live for three decades or more after diagnosis. For these people, there is substantially more time for greater disability to occur. (Deshpande 2016).

Approximately 20 percent of U.S. adults had chronic pain and 8 percent had high-impact chronic pain—meaning pain that limited at least one major life activity—in 2016.