Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions are the second most common musculoskeletal disease among adults and is the most common cause of disability among adults in this country. It affects one in five adults in the United States, or an estimated 50 million people, including 300,000 children. These estimates are expected to continue to soar, reaching 67 million by 2030. Two-thirds of people with arthritis are younger than age 65. In 2003, the total cost attributable to arthritis in the United States reached $128 billion. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile arthritis are the most common forms of arthritis.
There is no cure for arthritis; however, current treatments and increased understanding about ways to manage the disease have created significant improvements in the quality of life of people with arthritis.
While research remains a critical component of our effort to find a cure for arthritis, it is not the only one. Americans with arthritis need to learn that they have an important role to play in the management of the disease. They need to be taught how to take advantage of the therapies and treatments available today. Experts in Arthritis can help raise awareness and educate both those with arthritis and their significant others.