In spite of the frequency and pain severity related to arthritis and other rheumatologic conditions (AORC), AORC account for only a small portion of hospital discharges. Visits to a physician’s office or alternative type of care account for the majority of health care related to AORC. However, among the 6.6 million hospital discharges for an AORC in 2011, 60% were women.
Among the nine major conditions defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Arthritis Division as AORC, gout is the only condition where men are affected at a higher rate than women (66% of discharges versus 34%). Soft tissue disorders are found in about equal numbers between men and women.
Women are far more likely to have a diagnosis of fibromyalgia (89%) or diffuse connective tissue diseases (Sjögren's syndrome, SSC, SLE) (87%), than are men. Women also accounted for three-fourth (75%) of discharges with a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, and two-thirds (64%) of discharges diagnosed with osteoarthritis. (Reference Table 9A.4.2 PDF CSV)