Impact of Aging


Lead Author(s): 

Charles G. Helmick, MD

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

Because many types of arthritis have a higher prevalence among older adults, we expect that the current aging of the population will increase the prevalence and impact of AORC unless new interventions are implemented within the near future. The projections of arthritis prevalence and AAAL take into account age and sex, but do not take into account potentially important factors such as the obesity epidemic and the increasing frequency of joint injuries.1 The age-adjusted percentage of AAAL among adults with arthritis increased 19% between 2002-2004 and 2013-2015.2 Previous costs of arthritis have been driven by age-related increases in prevalence,3 so future costs of arthritis are likely to be driven higher by the same age-related increase in prevalence, but also from the increasing frequency of surgical interventions.

  • 1. Hootman JM, Helmick CG. Updated projections of US prevalence of arthritis and associated activity limitations. Arthritis Rheum 2016;68(7):1582-1587.
  • 2. Barbour KE, Helmick CG, Boring M, Brady TJ.  Prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation—United States, 2013-2015. MMWR 2017;66(9):246-253.
  • 3. Cisternas MG, Murphy L, Yelin E, Foreman AJ, Pasta DJ, Helmick CG. Trends in medical care expenditures of adults with arthritis and other rheumatic conditions: 1997 to 2005. J Rheum 2009;36:2531-8.


  • Fourth Edition

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