To provide a single source for the best available estimates of the US prevalence of
and number of individuals affected by osteoarthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica and giant
cell arteritis, gout, fibromyalgia, and carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as the symptoms
of neck and back pain. A companion article (part I) addresses additional conditions.
The National Arthritis Data Workgroup reviewed published analyses from available national
surveys, such as the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the National
Health Interview Survey. Because data based on national population samples are unavailable
for most specific rheumatic conditions, we derived estimates from published studies
of smaller, defined populations. For specific conditions, the best available prevalence
estimates were applied to the corresponding 2005 US population estimates from the
Census Bureau, to estimate the number affected with each condition.
We estimated that among US adults, nearly 27 million have clinical osteoarthritis
(up from the estimate of 21 million for 1995), 711,000 have polymyalgia rheumatica,
228,000 have giant cell arteritis, up to 3.0 million have had self-reported gout in
the past year (up from the estimate of 2.1 million for 1995), 5.0 million have fibromyalgia,
4-10 million have carpal tunnel syndrome, 59 million have had low back pain in the
past 3 months, and 30.1 million have had neck pain in the past 3 months.
Estimates for many specific rheumatic conditions rely on a few, small studies of uncertain
generalizability to the US population. This report provides the best available prevalence
estimates for the US, but for most specific conditions more studies generalizable
to the US or addressing understudied populations are needed.