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Common Types of Arthritis in Adults

Ankylosing Spondylitis, Psoriatic Arthritis

You’ve heard of arthritis and maybe even some of the different types of arthritis. Did you know there are more than 100 types of arthritis? Some forms of arthritis are more prevalent than others. Following is information on the six most common types of arthritis in adults.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are over 100 different types of arthritis and it is the most common cause of disability. In the United States, the six most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and systematic lupus erythematosis.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in adults that affects approximately 27 million people in the United States according to the CDC. The most common causes of osteoarthritis are sports, obesity and age and mainly affects joints that bear the most weight. The main symptom of osteoarthritis is pain in the affected joint with an increasing breakdown of cushioning cartilage around the joint causing inflammation and pain.

Gout is more common in men than in women and affects about 3 million adults according to the CDC. It is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body. Medications and certain foods can make gout worse. The joint mainly affected is the big toe, but other joints may be affected as well. Gout causes joints to appear red, hot and inflamed. The pain is severe with gout. It can be helped through medication and changes to diet.

Rheumatoid arthritis is the third most common type of arthritis in adults and affects about 1.3 million people. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks itself, mainly the joints. Over time, excessive inflammation can break down joint tissues causing pain and can lead to deformities of the joints. Other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include fatigue, swelling, stiffness and loss of appetite. It is more common in women than in men.

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Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis in the spine, and affects more than 300,000 people in the United States according to Medical Moment. It affects more men than women and can cause stiffening of the spine and even cause the vertebrae to fuse together.

Psoriatic arthritis affects the skin and joints in about 160,000 people in the United States. The skin disorder psoriasis usually proceeds the arthritis, and about ten percent of psoriasis sufferers will develop this form of arthritis which can affect bone, joints and the entire body.

Systematic lupus erythematosus affects more than 130,000 Americans, and women are about ten times more likely than men to be affected. Lupus is an autoimminue disease that not only affects the joints, but the skin and muscles. Sometimes even organs are affected by lupus and it can be life threatening.

Even though there are over 100 types of arthritis, the above-mentioned six types are the most common types of arthritis in adults.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Estimates for Specific Forms of Arthritis; http://www.cdc.gov/Features/dsArthritis/

Medical Moment; Common Types of Arthritis; http://www.medicalmoment.org/_content/facts/apr04/218567.asp