Arthritis is an umbrella term for nearly 200 conditions affecting joints. At LoudCloudHealth, we’ve picked some of the arthritis specifics you perhaps haven’t stumbled upon by now and found some fascinating arthritis statistics and facts you ought to know.

Like any other structure inside our bodies, joints and the tissue they’re cushioned with can become inflamed as well. Pain, stiffness, limited range of motion and common swelling in the joints and the adjoining tissues are all symptoms of arthritis, which is commonly mistaken for a single disease. 

Let’s dive straight into it and look at the most intriguing facts and figures first.

Top 10 Must-Know Arthritis Stats and Facts:

  • Arthritis is not reserved exclusively for the elderly—even children can develop it.
  • West Virginia is the US state with the highest arthritis prevalence.
  • Each year, 22.7% of the US population gets diagnosed with some form of arthritis.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a lifelong autoimmune disorder.
  • RA patients are twice as likely to experience depression.
  • Sativex, a spray containing both CBD and THC, can provide pain relief for RA patients.
  • Some types of arthritis can be cured by diet changes; for instance, in the case of arthritis caused by celiac disease.
  • 80% of working people with RA become disabled 20 years following the official diagnosis.
  • up to 300,000 children in the US are affected by juvenile RA.
  • CBD binds with the immune system receptors responsible for pain management and thus helps relieve arthritis pain.

General Facts About Arthritis

Arthritis Statistics - Pain

1. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, isn’t an inevitable part of aging.

(Very Well Health)

While the likelihood of developing an arthritic condition does increase with age, this does not imply that we’re all predestined to have bad joints. Over the years, joints wear and tear, but young people (even children) get affected as well. Hence, there are other factors at play here (other than age), including injuries, overuse of a particular joint, weak musculature, being overweight, and so on.

2. In most cases of osteoarthritis, patients’ pain is alleviated with rest.

(Very Well Health) (NCBI)

Osteoarthritis statistics from 2019 confirm about 3.3% to 3.6% of the global population suffers from the disease. Despite the fact that regular activity is highly recommended for arthritis patients — for muscle strengthening — adequate rest is also needed. In fact, resting can greatly reduce joint pains in most arthritis patients; particularly after some increased physical activity.

3. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is not just a degenerative joint disease, it’s a systemic autoimmune disease. 

(Versus Arthritis)

People unfamiliar with arthritis classification and terminology tend to confuse osteoarthritis with rheumatoid arthritis. 

To avoid any further confusion, here are some basic rheumatoid arthritis facts: unlike osteoarthritis, this condition is an autoimmune disease; meaning, it is triggered when your immune system acts contrary to its purpose and instead of defending your body’s healthy tissue, it attacks it. In the case of RA, your joints are the affected tissue, but since this is a systemic disease, it eventually causes harm to other organs as well.

4. A woman diagnosed with arthritis is probably going to experience a higher degree of disability compared to their male counterparts.

(Joint Health)

Another in the series of interesting facts about arthritis is that women suffer more profoundly compared to male patients (interestingly, this is true of any form of arthritis except for psoriatic arthritis, which is reported to affect both sexes equally). 

Additionally, according to the recent reports made by the Canadian workforce, women suffering from arthritis are more likely to go on sick leave (due to problems caused by this disease) than men.

5. Children and young adults can also get arthritis, the so-called juvenile arthritis, which usually goes undiagnosed.

(Healthcare Utah)

When it comes to juvenile arthritis facts, looks can be deceiving. Although children might seem happy and healthy on the outside, rarely complaining about joint pain and stiffness, they can suffer from these symptoms all the same. 

Taking into account that there are currently no laboratory tests available that would point to an accurate diagnosis of arthritis in children, as well as the fact that all children regularly experience growth-related pain, it’s no wonder then that these symptoms are often left unrecognized or regarded as normal.

6. Fibromyalgia is also a form of arthritis.

(Arthritis Foundation)

Fibromyalgia is a form of arthritis with high prevalence (afflicting about 4 million people in the US alone), manifesting through stiffness and pain in supporting tissue around the bones and joints, that play an important role in their movement. 

The most commonly affected parts are the muscles and tendons in the neck, shoulders, spine, and hips that are usually tender and aching. Other symptoms patients experience include unexplainable fatigue, poor concentration, and deviation from normal sleep patterns.

7. Joints can get inflamed as a result of lupus, too.

(Versus Arthritis)

Another contributor to the overall high prevalence of arthritis is lupus — yet another systemic autoimmune disease that can affect different organs in our bodies, including the skeletal system. Lupus commonly affects the joints, manifested as painful inflammation (the core symptom of arthritis). 

In other words, lupus can develop rheumatoid arthritis in patients with more severe joint issues, as well as a rare case of arthritis called Jaccoud’s arthropathy, but these are somewhat less common.

8. Calcium crystals, contained in our teeth and bones, can cause arthritis when present in the wrong places in our body.

(Versus Arthritis)

Are there by any chance some fun facts about arthritis? Probably not, but we’ve come across a rather strange one. There’s a form of arthritis called acute calcium pyrophosphate (CPP) crystal arthritis — a painful condition affecting mostly knee joints, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling.

 The unpleasant symptoms are caused by calcium deposits rubbing against soft tissue around the joints. Namely, calcium crystals are normally contained in bones and teeth, so how do they end up near the joints? They shake loose and leave the cartilage as a part of a process grotesquely named “crystal shedding.”

9. Gout definition: it is a painful form of arthritis caused by crystals forming in and around the joints.

(Versus Arthritis)

According to arthritis stats, gout is the most frequently encountered type of inflammatory arthritis, which is more common in men. It mostly affects people with high levels of urate in their blood. Though they are not the only factors to blame, overeating and alcohol abuse can both lead to the onset of this condition.

10.  Some lifestyle-related diseases may develop as a result of arthritis.

(Illinois Bone & Joint Institute)

Due to severe pain, people suffering from arthritis often rest to relieve some of their symptoms. Nevertheless, arthritis statistics have shown that this often leads to the complete disregard of physical activity, which doesn’t only further complicate their arthritis-related issues but also worsens their mental health as well; not to mention that inactive individuals are also prone to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and so on.

11. There’s a myth stating that making certain diet changes can significantly alleviate the pain for most forms of arthritis. 

(Arthritis Foundation)

While some rare forms of arthritis can be improved by a gluten-free diet, such as arthropathy due to celiac disease, statistics on the various types of arthritis indicate that most of these cannot be helped by merely changing nutritional habits. Nevertheless, having a well-balanced diet can still help maintain good (overall) health and well-being.

12. Arthritis facts: in the US, the National Arthritis Awareness Month is held each spring and includes a series of walks throughout the country.

(Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion)

The main event of the month (usually May) is called “Walk to Cure Arthritis” where each year millions of dollars are raised to fund arthritis research. 

More importantly, the aim is to improve arthritis statistics by highlighting the significance of increased scientific research and encourage physical activity among arthritis patients, who are often reluctant to engage in moderate activities they might benefit from.

Arthritis Statistics Worldwide

Arthritis Statistics - Global

13. Annually 22.7% of the US population gets diagnosed with some form of arthritis.

(Arthritis Foundation)

Chances are they are also diagnosed with another condition. 49% of US adults struggling with arthritis also suffer from heart disease. The percentage of diabetes patients is high as well—47%. Obesity is an issue for 31% of people with arthritis.

14. West Virginia is the US state with the highest prevalence of arthritis.

(WVDHHR)

38.9% of West Virginia adult citizens suffer from arthritis (1 in 3 people). The disease is most common in individuals older than 65 and an annual household income below $15,000.

In addition, 26.3% of the citizens described their health as “fair” or “poor”. The state was the first in the country regarding the prevalence of poor mental and physical health, according to the latest stats.Obesity issues are also problematic. Basically, West Virginia has all the conditions needed for high arthritis prevalence.

15. Each year, 41 out of 100,000 people in the US are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, as per statistics

(Healthline)

Out of 100,000 people, 41 are diagnosed with RA every year. About 1.3 million Americans are reported to suffer from RA. Rheumatoid arthritis is a severe autoimmune disorder of unknown origin, marked by chronically inflamed, swollen joints. As already stated, it must be differentiated from osteoarthritis, which is a more common illness, caused by a gradual breakdown of cartilage in the joints.

16. Rheumatoid arthritis statistics for Europe suggest that 2.9 million Europeans suffer from this disease.

(Westfair Online)

Despite the discouraging statistics, there’s hope that these symptoms could be relieved. 

Namely, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. in cooperation with their partner Sanofi has recently announced that the European Commission has authorized the launch of a new antibody-drug — Kevzara. It can be used as an independent therapy for patients who are methotrexate-intolerant, or as an alternative to methotrexate for patients who do not respond well to the therapy in question.

17. Arthritis statistics for the UK show over 10 million British people have to deal with arthritis. 9 million of them are affected by osteoarthritis.

(NHS)

In contrast, rheumatoid arthritis affects “only” 400,000. Fibromyalgia, ankylosing spondylitis, cervical spondylosis, and gout are less common. 

15,000 children and young people also face the challenges arthritis imposed on them. The most common type is oligo-articular JIA. It usually affects up to 4 joints in knees, wrists, and ankles. Fortunately, it can disappear without permanent damage.

18.  The recently published juvenile arthritis statistics indicate that up to 300,000 children in the US are affected by juvenile RA.

(Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network)

The condition affects all children under 18, but it may even develop in 2-year-olds. The symptoms either remain present and continue throughout adulthood or change over time. In rare cases, the symptoms of juvenile RA withdraw and do not return in adulthood.

19. Analysis of psoriatic arthritis prevalence data reveals that 1 out of 5 people with psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis. 

(Medscape)

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis found in people who suffer from psoriasis — a chronic skin condition causing red patches on the skin, covered with scales. 

Although most people develop psoriasis prior to psoriatic arthritis, there are no rules — joint problems can appear even before skin lesions. According to studies conducted in Germany, 30.2% of psoriatic patients develop psoriatic arthritis.

20. Rheumatoid arthritis disability statistics reveal that up to 80% of working people with RA become disabled  20 years following the official diagnosis.

(UCB)

After RA patients become disabled, they usually require assistance with performing most of their daily tasks. The estimates are that nearly half of the people with RA require some kind of help from their relatives in order to conduct the most ordinary activities throughout the day. Interestingly, in lower-GDP countries, people seem to often neglect their diagnosis and keep working despite difficulties caused by RA symptoms.

21. Arthritis statistics for 2020 estimate there are 63 million adult Americans who have reported the condition to their doctor.

(CDC)

Reports from 2014 show a much lower figure — 54 million. Overall, there has been a steady increase in arthritis patients. The rising trend is going to continue, as the estimates for 2025 are depressing, with 67 million Americans suffering from arthritis.

22.  Arthritis patients (especially RA patients) are 2 times more likely to experience depression.

(UCB)

Studies have concluded that depression rates in RA patients range between 14% and 46%. This is probably the case due to the disabling properties of the disease (such as chronic fatigue and pain) setting certain limitations on their personal relationships.

Powerful Cannabis  Properties for Arthritis Treatment

Arthritis Statistics - Cannabis

23.CBD can help with rheumatoid arthritis prevalence as it binds together with the body’s immune system receptors responsible for pain management.

(Medicinal Genomics)

One of these receptors is called CB2 — its purpose is to manage inflammation and pain. Scientists dedicated to the research of medical cannabis for the treatment of arthritis believe that when CBD enters the body, it clutches to CB2. What’s more, it triggers specific bodily mechanisms that produce natural cannabinoids, altering the way CB2 responds to the received signals and boosting inflammation and pain management in the process.

24. Arthritis prevalence and pain could be offset with the best CBD oil for arthritis if you know how to recognize the highest quality.

(Healthy Moms Healthy Babies)

First and foremost, it’s essential to buy CBD oil from companies that use organic hemp plants and extract the ingredients applying the butane-free methods. Additionally, for each product, the manufacturer should also have lab reports on its website, ensuring that it is a clean product of adequate potency. 

25. Interesting facts about arthritis and cannabis: there’s a spray containing both CBD and THC, Sativex, which provides pain relief for RA patients.

(Gazette Chicago)

A plethora of cannabis studies are aimed at investigating the efficacy of cannabis-based products in terms of painkilling regarding Sativex — a sublingual spray containing both CBD and THC. 

There’s evidence that cannabis might lack the strength when it comes to severe pain, but it can be quite effective for chronic pain. The statistics show that it has alleviated many RA patients’ pains.

26. Taking into account some essential arthritis facts, if CBD proves non-effective, you might want to consider consulting your doctor for some low-dose THC product prescriptions.

(Leafly)

If CBD alone doesn’t improve your symptoms and you live in areas where either medical or recreational cannabis has been legalized, ask your doctor whether you could take CBD along with a low-dose THC product. Recent research suggests that cannabidiol has not only therapeutic properties but also counteracts the possible side effects of THC.

27. If you’re reluctant to ingest CBD products, there are also topical products to opt for.

(Medical News Today)

While some arthritis statistics claim that these products are quite effective, there is no relevant data on whether they actually do deliver the required amount of CBD to the bloodstream.  Furthermore, the topical CBD products often include other components commonly found in pain relievers such as menthol or camphor, thus making researchers uncertain whether the pain relief comes solely from CBD or not.

FAQs

What percent of the population has arthritis?

(Rheumatoid Arthritis) (Priority Medicines for Europe and the World)

When we talk about rheumatoid arthritis, 1% of the world population has it written down in their medical card at the moment.

As for osteoarthritis, we have to rely on the forecast that 130 million people worldwide will be dealing with OA by 2020. About 15% of the population over 60 years old will have symptomatic OA.

Which country has the highest rate of arthritis?

(US National Library of Medicine)

According to a recent study, the highest rates of arthritis have been observed in Russia with as many as 38% (95% CI 36–39%) of men suffering from arthritis, as compared to just 17% (95% CI 14%–20%) of women. Furthermore, the standardized arthritis rates for men are also two-fold greater than those of women.

What is the average age of getting arthritis?

(Share Care)

Contrary to the common misconception that arthritis is associated with old age, this disease doesn’t only affect older people. 

The data on the average age of contracting arthritis hasn’t yet been reported, but as per some reports, up to two-thirds of individuals affected by arthritis are under 65, children included. So clearly, there are no rules when it comes to getting arthritis.

Which state is best for arthritis?

(Creaky Joints)

According to a Rheumatoid Disease Report Card, Maryland is the state that brings the most benefits to anyone dealing with rheumatoid disease, including arthritis. 

In order for Maryland to get “A” as the overall rating (and be the only such state), it had to get good ratings concerning: access to healthcare, affordability, lifestyle (how easy is it to be active).

Alabama and Oklahoma had the worst scores (“D”), while New York, Colorado, Connecticut, and Vermont ranked among the best.

How many people are diagnosed with arthritis each year?

(Arthritis Foundation)

There is no specific data on this, but according to estimates, the number of people expected to officially be diagnosed with arthritis by 2040 exceeds 78 million.

Conclusion

Arthritis is a difficult but manageable condition. If you’re struggling with the debilitating symptoms, you should bear in mind that there are ways to alleviate the pain. 

It is of utmost importance that you approach your condition open-mindedly and without fear (or bias) so you can dig deeper beneath the surface of your possible treatments. Just look at medical marijuana and what it can do for arthritis patients. Hopefully, our arthritis statistics have either reaffirmed your positive attitude or encouraged you to search for some potent alternate solutions.

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