You are here: Home » News-ANI » Health
Business Standard

Arthritis prevalence rising among Indians: Analysis


An analysis done by SRL Diagnostics on tests for Arthritis done in its laboratories revealed that more women than men in India are suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis.

The analysis also revealed that high ESR and CRP levels prescribed in patients of arthritis and, indicative of persistent inflammation of joints, were more commonly found in the East zone, followed by the North zone while a high Uric Acid levels pointing towards Gout were seen more in the North zone followed by the East zone.

The data is based on more than 6.4 million samples received for Arthritis (bone health) testing over the last 3.5 years since January 2014 at SRL Laboratories across India.

Arthritis affects more than 180 million people in India - prevalence higher than many well-known diseases such as diabetes, AIDS and cancer. Around 14% of the Indian population seeks a doctor's help every year for this joint disease.

While the mainstay of diagnostics in bone and joint disorders is Radiology e.g. X-ray, CT-scan, MRI and DEXA scan, laboratory tests are used for screening or for monitoring the progress of the disease.

Lab Tests

Blood tests are done as aids to arrive at a diagnosis and are not definitive in diagnosing arthritis.

- Inflammation Tests

· ESR (Erthrocyte Sedimentation Rate)

· CRP (C-reactive protein)

- Test for Rheumatoid Arthritis

· Rheumatoid factor

- Test for Gout

· Uric Acid


The most prevalent form of arthritis, Osteoarthritis has been affecting 15 million adults annually with a prevalence ranging 22% to 39% in India. Other common joint conditions affecting Indians are gout and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is more commonly observed in women and more prevalent with ageing. Studies have observed that nearly 45% of women over the age of 65 years have symptoms while radiological evidence is found in 70% of those over 65 years.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

An autoimmune disease, this mainly affects tissues around the joints. Most frequent in adults, it afflicts between 0.5%-1% of the population in India. Women are three to four times more frequently affected than men. Onset generally occurs in the 35-55 year age group.


One of the most common causes of inflammatory arthritis, Gout is three to four times more common in men and the obese aged 50 years or above.

Analysis highlights:

· Abnormal ESR and CRP levels (indicative of persistent inflammation of joints) were more commonly seen in the East zone, where lab tests showed higher abnormal values for CRP (61.23 %), ESR (53.78 %) and RF (14.34%) compared to other parts of the country.

· Abnormal Uric Acid levels indicating Gout were seen more commonly in the North zone (23.19%) followed by the East.

· ESR (56.71%, 61-85 age group), CRP (80.13%, 85+ years), RF (12.77%, 61-85 years) and UA (34.76%, 85+ years) levels were higher in people in their forties onwards.

Dr Avinash Phadke, President - Technology & Mentor (Clinical Pathology), SRL Diagnostics, said, "Although the word 'arthritis' means joint inflammation, the term is used to describe more than 100 rheumatic diseases and conditions affecting the bones and tissues. Alarmingly, India will emerge as the capital of Osteoarthritis by 2025 with more than 60 million to be likely affected. Ironically, one of the main reasons is the increasing longevity of India's population, another being fast-rising obesity. Early signs should not be ignored; early diagnosis and treatment can save the joints. Maintaining joint lifelong should be a goal of everyone's life.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Thu, October 12 2017. 07:57 IST