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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
June 16, 1999

Impact of Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Conditions on the Health-Care System—United States, 1997

JAMA. 1999;281(23):2177-2178. doi:10.1001/jama.281.23.2177

MMWR. 1999;48:349-353

2 tables omitted

Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions are the leading cause of disability in the United States,1 affecting approximately 43 million persons2 and costing $65 billion in 1992.3 By 2020, these numbers will increase as the population ages.4 This report examines several measures of the impact of arthritis on the U.S. health-care system; the findings indicate that arthritis and other rheumatic conditions have a large impact on hospitalizations, ambulatory-care visits, and home health care, with women accounting for most of this impact and all persons aged <65 years accounting for a substantial portion.