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Osteoarthritis Has a Huge Impact on Millions of U.S. Adults

If the last few months are any indication, 2017 is proving to be an interesting year for healthcare policy, budget appropriations, and their impact on public health.  At the OA Action Alliance, we are interested in educating policymakers at any level — that is, any person in a position to effect policy change, funding decisions, and programming actions from the federal government to local communities, businesses, schools, and everything in between — about the enormous impact of osteoarthritis on their constituents, users, employees, students, followers, and more.

Osteoarthritis has a disproportionate effect on vulnerable populations, loss of work and work-related productivity, ability to perform activities related to daily life, health care costs, and managing conditions.

What can we do? Learn about 3 areas for action that address arthritis research funding, access to community programs, and healthcare. And share with your policymakers!



















Full Infographic in JPEG and PDF formats:  Infographic PDF| Infographic JPEG

Shareable Resources

Click on the links to download and share on your social networks!

Facebook graphic (download here)

Twitter Graphic (download here)

Additional Policy Resources


Community-Based Exercise Programs:

Access to Health Care Providers:

Reference List

  • Cisternas, M. G., Murphy, L., Sacks, J. J., Solomon, D. H., Pasta, D. J., & Helmick, C. G. (2016). Alternative Methods for Defining Osteoarthritis and the Impact on Estimating Prevalence in a US Population-Based Survey. Arthritis Care & Research, 68(5), 574-580.
    • 30+ million U.S. adults have osteoarthritis
  • United States Bone and Joint Initiative: The Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases in the United States (BMUS), Third Edition, 2014. Rosemont, IL. Available at
    • $80 billion in aggregate lost work earnings attributed to OA and allied disorders
    • $2017 average per person per year incremental medical costs attributable to OA and allied disorders
  • Barbour KE, Helmick CG, Boring M, Brady TJ. Vital Signs: Prevalence of Doctor-Diagnosed Arthritis and Arthritis-Attributable Activity Limitation — United States, 2013–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:246–253. DOI:
    • 23.7 million have difficulty with usual activities due to arthritis
  • Murphy LB, Hootman JM, Boring MA, et al. Leisure time physical activity among U.S. adults with arthritis, 2008–2015. Am J Prev Med 2017;53:345–54. DOI:
    • Approximately 40% of adults with arthritis are inactive
      • Specifically, 41.2% of U.S. adults with arthritis were inactive
  • Murphy LB, Helmick, CG, Allen KD, Theis KA, Baker NA, Murray GR, Qin J, Hootman JM, Brady TJ, Barbour KE. Arthritis Among Veterans — United States, 2011–2013. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2014; 63(44);999-1003.
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