Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Arthritis Research & Therapy and BioMed Central.

Highly Accessed Open Badges Editorial

Comparing the prevalence of rheumatic diseases in China with the rest of the world

David T Felson

Author Affiliations

Clinical Epidemiology Research & Training Unit, 650 Albany Street, Suite X-200, Boston, MA 02118-2526, USA

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008, 10:106  doi:10.1186/ar2369

See related research by Zeng et al.,

Published: 25 February 2008


Geographic or ethnic differences in the occurrence of disease often provide insights into causes of disease and possible opportunities for disease prevention. Persons in China appear to have a consistently lower prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia than persons in the United States and Europe; reasons for these prevalence differences might include genetic differences, differences in environmental exposures or a combination of both. With increasing obesity, gout is becoming endemic in China. Finally, symptomatic knee osteoarthritis is extremely common in China and constitutes a major public health problem there.