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Facts On Arthritis And The Foot

Prevalence of Arthritis

Total number:

40 million people in the United States have some type of arthritis. This represents 15% of the population or one in every seven persons.

The prevalence of arthritis is projected to increase 57% to about 59.6 million people with arthritis by the year 2020. This represents 18.2 % of the population.

Arthritis is a leading cause of work-related disability among people. An estimated 2.8% of the population or 7 million people had arthritis as a major or contributing cause of activity limitation. The prevalence of arthritis related disability is also expected to rise by the year 2020, when an estimated 11.6 million people will be affected.

There are more than 100 types of arthritic diseases. Arthritis was reported as the cause of disability more than any other chronic diseases, such as back pain, heart or lung conditions, diabetes, or cancer.

Prevalence of Arthritis by age and sex:

Arthritis affects all ages including a significant number of adults in the prime of their life (almost 9 million adults) . An estimated 285,000 children are affected with arthritis. There is a higher prevalence in people greater than 65, and in women. Arthritis affects one of every two people over age 65. Arthritis is the most prevalent chronic condition in women affecting 26.4 million. By the year 2020, an estimated 36 million women will be affected.

Cost of Arthritis:

The estimated cost of arthritis is about $64.8 billion dollars. Twenty- four percent was due to direct medical costs, and 76% was due to indirect costs from lost wages. The cost including arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions was 149.4 billion, which is about 2.5% of the Gross National Product.

Common Arthritis Diseases



This is also known as degenerative joint disease, and is the most common type of arthritis, affecting an estimated 20.7 million adults in the United States, mostly after age 45. It primarily affects the joint cartilage. It usually affects the weight-bearing joints, such as the feet.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

This is a systemic inflammatory disease affecting the synovium or lining of the joints. It typically affects more than one joint and tends to be symmetrical. It affects 2.1 million people in the United States, or about 1 percent of the population. Onset is usually after age 45, but often occurs in the 20s and 30s . The cause is unknown, but it is an autoimmune disease.

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA)

JRA is the most common form of arthritis in childhood. It affects 70,000 to 100,000 children in the United States. The cause is unknown, but it involves abnormalities of the immune system. JRA can cause altered growth, joint damage, and joint inflammation.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

This is a seronegative spondyloarthritis that primarily affects the spine and causes stiffness. A characteristic lesion is the formation of calcaneal spurs. Heel pain is a common complaint. It usually affects men between the ages of 16 and 35.


This results from a build-up of uric acid which forms sodium urate crystals that deposit in joints and cause inflammation. Gout commonly affects the first metatarsophalangeal joint of the foot. It usually affects men over age 40. Women with gout usually develop it after menopause.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

This is also known as lupus or SLE. It is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system harms the body’s own healthy cells and tissues. Nine out of ten people who have lupus are women. Lupus is three times more common in black women than in caucasian women.

Psoriatic Arthritis

This is a seronegative spondyloarthritis which occurs in some people with psoriasis. About 95% have swelling in joints outside the spine. Swelling in the toes gives them a sausage appearance. Pitting of the toenails and other nail changes affect 80% of people with psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis affects men and women of all races and usually occurs between the ages of 20 and 50.

Prevention and Treatment of Arthritis

Foot Problems According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and the Arthritis Foundation early diagnosis and treatment of arthritis can prevent much unnecessary disability. People with arthritis need to self-manage their condition and engage in physical activity.



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