Approximately 21 million Americans—9.5% of adults 18 and older—either visited or called a doctor for a prescription to reduce arthritis pain in 2005, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

AHRQ’s data found that in 2005:

Some 9.5 million adults sought treatment, but women did it more often than men – 12% versus 7%.

More whites sought treatment for arthritis (10.5%), followed closely by blacks (just under 10%), compared to Hispanics (6%), and Asians (4%).

About $32 billion was spent for arthritis treatments, which included doctor visits (36%), hospital care (31%), prescription drugs (21%), home health care (12%) and emergency room visits (less than 1%).

[Source: Newswise]