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With a rise in aging population, and an increase in obesity the world over, it’s critical to look at one of the leading causes of disability, in particular among US adults – arthritis. Arthritis is an umbrella term encompassing numerous conditions affecting joints and connective tissues. Currently, a little over 50 million adults in the United States of America are affected, and projections show nearly 70 million by the year 2030. In addition, adults age 50 and over, 55% are currently treating some form of joint pain and stiffness, while 48% are specifically treating arthritis. Those 50 million adults have self-reported doctor diagnosed arthritis, while 21 million have arthritis-attributable activity limitation. Some of the numbers are staggering, data from 2003 suggests total attributable cost to arthritis around $128 billion, $81 billion in direct medical expenses and $47 billion in indirect costs such as lost wages.4 Here are a few more numbers to consider, 44 million outpatient visits, nearly 1 million hospitalizations, and a little over 9,300 deaths reported.

 

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