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New AHRQ MEPS Statistical Brief Finds Number of Americans Receiving Treatment for Osteoarthritis Decreased Significantly from 2016-2020

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The number of Americans receiving treatment for osteoarthritis or other nontraumatic joint disorders decreased significantly from 52.6 million in 2016 to 43.6 million in 2020, according to a new AHRQ MEPS Statistical Brief.

The Statistical Brief – AHRQ Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Statistical Brief #548, Treated Prevalence of Commonly Reported Health Conditions, 2016 to 2020 – presents trends for the most commonly treated medical conditions from 2016 to 2020 among the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population. Healthcare treatment for a condition includes office-based medical visits, hospital outpatient visits, emergency room visits, hospital inpatient stays, prescribed medicine fills, and home healthcare. The analysis includes collapsed condition categories with at least 25 million treated people in any year from 2016 to 2020. Estimates by condition are presented separately for those who received any office-based or hospital outpatient healthcare, those who had emergency room visits or hospital inpatient stays, and those who were treated with prescribed medicines. The Brief highlights changes in treated prevalence for these common conditions in 2020 relative to the years 2016 to 2019. Estimates are based on the 2016 to 2020 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component (MEPS-HC) public use files.

Among the conditions examined in this Brief, acute bronchitis and URIs and infectious disease saw the largest percentage declines in treated prevalence overall and for care in office-based or hospital outpatient settings, emergency rooms and inpatient hospitals, and as the reason for prescribed medicine purchases.

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