The total costs for arthritis in the U.S. may exceed 2% of the country's gross domestic product!
Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, limiting everyday activities for more than 7 million Americans. In many cases, arthritis deprives individuals of their independence and disrupts the lives of family members and other caregivers. In addition, disabilities from arthritis create enormous costs for individuals, their families, and the nation. Each year, arthritis results in 44 million outpatient visits and almost three-quarters of a million hospitalizations. Estimated medical care costs for people with arthritis are $15 billion annually, and total costs (medical care and lost productivity) are estimated at almost $65 billion annually.
Source: Annals Of Internal Medicine 2000;133:635-646