Osteoarthritis Facts

About Osteoarthritis (OA)

  • One of the most common types of arthritis. OA affects nearly 27 million Americans aged 25 and older1 and more than 151 million individuals worldwide2
  • Known as the "wear-and-tear" kind of arthritis, OA is a chronic condition caused by the breakdown of a joint's cartilage (which cushions the ends of the bones and allows for easy movement). Cartilage breakdown lets bones rub against each other, causing stiffness, pain, and loss of movement in the joint1
  • A combination of factors can contribute to OA, including being overweight, aging, joint injury or stress, heredity, and muscle weakness. OA can affect the hands, feet, spine, hips, and knees1
  • Worldwide, OA impacts approximately 18% of women and 9.6% of men aged 60 and above
  • In the US, 13.9% of adults aged 25 and older and 33.6% (12.4 million) of those aged 65 and older have OA3
  • From 1990 to 2005, the total number of US adults aged 25 and older affected by OA increased from 21 million to 26.9 million3

The Burden of OA

Economic burden

  • In 2007, estimated direct costs of OA per patient per year ranged between $6,407 and $6,811 in the US4
  • Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions, such as OA, cost the US economy nearly $128 billion per year in direct and indirect expenses5

Emotional burden

  • About 40% of patients with OA surveyed feel that their overall health is “poor” or “fair3
  • About 80% say OA limits their ability to perform simple daily activities3


  1. Osteoarthritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_info/Osteoarthritis/default.asp. Accessed May 22, 2014.
  2. Christiansen BA, Anderson MJ, Lee CA, Williams JC, Yik JHN, Haudensschild DR. Musculoskeletal changes following non-invasive knee injury using a novel mouse model of post-traumatic osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2012;20:773-782.
  3. Osteoarthritis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/osteoarthritis.htm. Accessed May 23, 2014.
  4. Le TK, Montejano LB, Cao Z, Zhao Y, Ang D. Healthcare costs associated with osteoarthritis in US patients. Pain Pract. 2012;12:633‐640.
  5. News from the Arthritis Foundation. Osteoarthritis Fact Sheet. http://www.arthritis.org/files/images/newsroom/media-kits/Osteoarthritis_fact_sheet.pdf. Accessed May 23, 20134.