Half of US population develop osteoarthritis by 85

September 3rd, 2008 - 3:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Sep 3 (IANS) Nearly half of the US adult population will develop painful osteoarthritis of the knee by 85, according to a University of North Carolina study.Osteoarthritis is a condition manifesting as a deep ache within or near the affected joint like the knee or the hip, coupled with a limitation of motion.

Most people typically experience joint pain that worsens during the course of the day, whereas others report the greatest pain in the morning.

The study is based on data from 3,068 men and women aged 45 years and above, who live in Johnston County, North Carolina and collected over a 13-year period.

The study also found that a person’s lifetime risk rose as their body mass index or BMI increased, with the greatest risk found in those whose weight was normal at age 18 but were overweight or obese at 45 or older.

“These results show how important weight management is for people throughout their lives,” said Joanne Jordan, professor and principal investigator of the University’s School of Medicine project and co-author of the study.

“Simply put, people who keep their weight within the normal range are much less likely to develop symptomatic knee osteoarthritis as they get older and thus much less likely to face the need for major surgical procedures, such as knee replacement surgery.”

The study also sends an important message to physicians, said Jordan. “They need to include the risk of knee osteoarthritis in the discussion when counselling patients about weight management and they need to factor that risk into their treatment plans.”

The results are scheduled for publication in the Sep 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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