Rheumatology International

, Volume 37, Issue 9, pp 1551–1557 | Cite as

Prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis in the United States adult population in healthcare claims databases, 2004–2014

  • Theresa M. HunterEmail author
  • Natalie N. Boytsov
  • Xiang Zhang
  • Krista Schroeder
  • Kaleb Michaud
  • Andre B. Araujo
Epidemiology of RMD


This study aimed to determine the prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis in the United States (US) adult insured population from 2004 to 2014. This was an observational, retrospective, cross-sectional study based on US administrative health insurance claims databases (Truven Health MarketScan® Research database and IMS PharMetrics Plus database). Trends in RA prevalence focusing on the 10-year period covering January 1, 2004–December 31, 2014 were analyzed using a validated algorithm for the identification of RA. Prevalence rates in the databases were determined and age- and gender-adjusted rates were projected to the US population in 2014. Analysis of data from the two databases indicated that the RA prevalence rate in commercially insured adult US population ranged from 0.41 to 0.54% from 2004 to 2014. The prevalence varied substantially by gender and age in each year and increased gradually across the years for most subgroups. In 2014, out of 31,316,902 adult patients with continuous enrollment in the Truven Health MarketScan® Research database, 157,634 (0.50%) patients met our criteria for RA. Similarly, out of 35,083,356 adult patients in the IMS PharMetrics Plus database, 139,300 (0.50%) patients met our criteria for RA. In 2014, the overall age-adjusted prevalence of RA ranged from 0.53 to 0.55% (0.29–0.31% for males and 0.73–0.78% for females). The prevalence of RA in the US appeared to increase during the period from 2004 to 2014, affecting a conservative estimate of 1.28–1.36 million adults in 2014.


Rheumatoid arthritis Prevalence Claims databases 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.

Ethical approval

The study has been performed in accordance with the ethical standards as laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and later amendments.

Human or animal participants

This study was a retrospective analysis of administrative claims data and does not contain any human participants or animals.

Informed consent

The permission from a research ethics committee was not required and formal informed consent was not obtained.

Supplementary material

296_2017_3726_MOESM1_ESM.docx (39 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 38 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theresa M. Hunter
    • 1
    Email author
  • Natalie N. Boytsov
    • 1
  • Xiang Zhang
    • 1
  • Krista Schroeder
    • 1
  • Kaleb Michaud
    • 2
  • Andre B. Araujo
    • 1
  1. 1.Global Patient Outcomes and Real World EvidenceEli Lilly and Company, Lilly Technology Center SouthIndianapolisUSA
  2. 2.Division of RheumatologyUniversity of Nebraska Medical CenterOmahaUSA

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