Degenerative Disease in Profile

By Steve Barrett
Sunday, September 1, 2019

Degenerative conditions burden millions of Americans physically, financially and emotionally. These numbers help tell the story.

Osteoarthritis’ Sweeping Toll

More than 30 million American adults have osteoarthritis (OA).

Half of U.S. adults have symptoms of knee OA at some point.

One-fourth have symptoms of hip OA by age 85.

Costly Care

A study by the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Lewin Group revealed staggering costs associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and myotonic dystrophy (DM). The numbers include annual per-patient medical and nonmedical costs, as well as lost income.

At Risk

About 200,000 Americans are at risk of inheriting Huntington’s disease, and roughly 30,000 are symptomatic. Symptoms can appear before age 20 but more commonly surface after age 30.

Alzheimer’s Through the Ages

While 1 in 10 Americans 65 or older has Alzheimer’s disease, prevalence for the condition is not evenly distributed within that age group.

A Dementia Divide

65-year-old American man has approximately a 12% risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, compared with a 21% risk for a woman the same age.