Heads Up: 10 Things You Should Know About Arthritis

  1. Arthritis is a serious, painful and debilitating disease.
  2. Arthritis is the nation’s leading cause of disability.
  3. One in every five American adults has doctor-diagnosed arthritis.
  4. Kids get arthritis, too.
  5. Arthritis costs $128 billion annually in medical care and other costs.
  6. There are 100+ types of arthritis.
  7. Arthritis destroys joints, bones and other connective tissues.
  8. Arthritis robs people of their quality of life.
  9. Arthritis is not inevitable or untreatable.
  10. Learn more about arthritis and the Arthritis Foundation’s efforts.

Are you ready to face arthritis?


  1. We are the nation’s largest nonprofit organization that provides life-changing programs and services focusing on the prevention, control and cure of arthritis, the leading cause of disability in the United States. See our page on Wikipedia
  2. We are the world’s largest private funder of arthritis research since our founding in 1948, investing more than $450 million in medical breakthroughs that have restored mobility in countless patients – and the promise of cures is on the horizon.
  3. At the top of the organization’s strategic plan are steps we’re taking to combat complacency around arthritis; we fervently believe that it’s unacceptable to ignore the serious pain, disability, cost and other impacts of this chronic illness.
  4. Though we provide useful information about arthritis in its 100+ forms, our primary focus is on three types of the disease:
    • Osteoarthritis, the most prevalent form that strikes 27 million Americans.
    • Rheumatoid arthritis, which affects an estimated 1.3 million people.
    • Juvenile arthritis, which afflicts 300,000 children.
  5. More than 75% of our resources go toward programs and services, less than 25% toward overhead.
  6. We lead several major national events every year, which raise substantial funds to advance arthritis research, programs and services:
    • Arthritis Walk is our signature nationwide event: 200 Walk events across the country, with more than 60,000 participants, raise more than $9 million.
    • Jingle Bell Run/Walk: 130 events nationwide raise more than $7 million.
    • We rally hundreds of arthritis advocates to join our annual Advocacy Summit on Capitol Hill, where we urge lawmakers to make arthritis a national priority.
    • Our annual Juvenile Arthritis Conference is a forum for families to share information about better living with JA, which attacks 300,000 children.
  7. We publish the award-winning bimonthly magazine Arthritis Today, which provides a wealth of trusted information about arthritis and related health topics – and generates 4 million impressions each issue.
  8. Our Programs for Better Living – Exercise, Tai Chi, Aquatics and Walk With Ease – promote proven ways to reduce arthritis pain and disability through instructor-led fitness classes in local communities and through self-help guides.
  9. Our Ease-of-Use program with the Georgia Tech Research Institute tests and recommends household products that can make living with arthritis easier.
  10. Headquartered in Atlanta, we have local offices across 10 regions of the United States that work with arthritis patients and their families on a community level.
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