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What is arthritis? The word “arthritis” means joint inflammation (derived from “arth,” which in Greek means joint, and “itis,” meaning inflammation). Scientists have identified more than 100 types of arthritis, many of which affect the skin, muscles, bones, and internal organs as well as the joints. Together, these conditions are known as rheumatic diseases.  

As we age, one of the most common health problems we’re likely to face is joint pain and stiffness due to arthritis—one of the most common chronic health problems in the United States. About one of every five—or approximately 46 million Americans in all—has been diagnosed with arthritis or has chronic joint symptoms such as pain and stiffness.  

The vast majority of people with arthritis—about 27 million—have osteoarthritis. An additional 1.3 million people have rheumatoid arthritis, and the remainder have other forms of arthritis or diseases related to arthritis, such as lupus erythematosus, gout, or fibromyalgia. 

Women are particularly at risk. According to the Arthritis Foundation, 60 percent of people who have arthritis are women. The economic cost of arthritis in the United States for medical care and lost wages combined is almost $128 billion annually. Of course, the most important cost is the pain, suffering, and disability that can significantly affect a person’s quality of life. 

How Scientific American Consumer Health can help. If you or someone you care about has arthritis, obtaining accurate information is an important part of the treatment plan. Contrary to ads for miracle cures and instant pain relievers that you may hear on the radio or see in newspapers or magazines, arthritis treatment often involves trial and error to find the best combination of therapies and medications to relieve your symptoms. The more you know about arthritis, the more you will understand the rationale behind the treatment, and the better prepared you will be to participate in your own arthritis management. 

Scientific American Consumer Health is ideally positioned to provide you with timely, authoritative information and advice on treating arthritis.

  • John A. Flynn, M.D, a leading rheumatologist, reviews the most up-to-date information on the causes and treatments of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and related rheumatic conditions, including fibromyalgia, gout, ankylosing spodylitis, and bursitis.
  • You can find out about drugs and knee replacement surgery or hip replacement surgery, new arthritis treatment options, complementary therapies, arthritis pain relief, exercise, other self-management strategies, and much more. 

For more information on Arthritis please visit the BOOKSTORE .


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Scientific American White Paper: Arthritis Cover

2016 Arthritis White Paper

Arthritis now affects millions of Americans. The Scientific American Consumer Health Arthritis White Paper provides in-depth knowledge on the most recent breakthroughs concerning the most common forms of arthritis-osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, it includes two other rheumatic diseases: fibromyalgia syndrome and bursitis, and also ankylosing spondylitis, gout, and lyme disease.

Click here to read more or order

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