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Nearly half of US adults will develop painful knee osteoarthritis by age 85: study
Date:9/2/2008

ewed a second time two weeks after the clinical exam. In addition, researchers calculated the subjects' BMI at age 18 based on their self report of height and weight at that age.

After all data were collected, researchers estimated the lifetime risk of symptomatic osteoarthritis in at least one knee using logistic regression models of statistical analysis. They found that the lifetime risk of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis was 44.7 percent.

There were no significant differences in risk related to a participant's sex, race or education level. However, obese participants had a significantly higher lifetime risk, 64.5 percent compared to 34.9 percent for normal weight and 44.1 percent for overweight participants. Those with a history knee injury also had a higher risk than those without, 56.8 percent compared to 42.3 percent.

A separate analysis of BMI across the span of participants' lives found that those who had a normal weight at age 18 and at their baseline and follow up visits had the lowest risk (29.2 percent) while those who reported a normal weight at 18 but were overweight or obese at the two later time points had the highest risk (59.9) percent.

Although the participants in this study all live in the same relatively rural county in the South, the lifetime risk of knee arthritis is likely high in the rest of the U.S. as well, the researchers wrote. They concluded that the study "underscores the need for public health weight loss and management interventions" that would help decrease the risk.


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Contact: Stephanie Crayton
scrayton@unch.unc.edu
919-966-2860
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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