Women's Health USA 2007
Photographs of women's faces
Health Status > Health Indicators

Arthritis, the leading cause of disability among Americans over 15 years of age, comprises more than 100 different diseases that affect areas in or around the joints.1 The most common type is osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative joint disease that causes pain and loss of movement due to deterioration in the cartilage covering the ends of bones in the joints. Other types of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus arthritis, gout, and fibromyalgia.

In 2005, over 21 percent of adults in the United States reported that they had ever been diagnosed with arthritis. Arthritis was more common in women than men (25.5 versus 17.4 percent), and rates of arthritis increased dramatically with age for both sexes. Fewer than 10 percent of women in the 1844 year age group had been diagnosed with arthritis, compared to 52.7 percent among women aged 6574 years, and almost 60 percent of women 75 years and older.

In 2005, the rate of arthritis among women varied by race and ethnicity. It was most common among non-Hispanic White women (282.1 per 1,000 women), followed by non-Hispanic Black women (243.3 per 1,000). The lowest rates of arthritis were among Asian and Hispanic women (124.4 and 144.2 per 1,000, respectively).

1 Arthritis Foundation. The facts about arthritis. 2004. http://www.arthritis.org. Viewed 4/18/07.


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Women's Health USA 2007 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Women's Health USA 2007. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2007.