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Evidence of Benefit Lacking for Many Common Ways of Treating Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Date:10/4/2007

ct an estimated 46 million people in the United States, and at age 64 and older, one in 10 Americans is estimated to have osteoarthritis of the knee. Osteoarthritis and related arthritic conditions cost more than $81 billion a year in medical care, lost wages, and other expenses.

The authors, who were led by David J. Samson, M.S., associate director of the AHRQ-supported Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Evidence-based Practice Center in Chicago, reviewed findings from 53 randomized clinical trials of glucosamine, chondroitin, and injections with hyaluronan preparations and 23 studies of arthroscopy. The review scrutinized individual studies concerned with these treatments' effects as well as meta-analyses that analyzed the combined evidence of groups of studies.

According to authors, better quality randomized clinical trials are needed to clarify whether these treatments are beneficial. However, given the aging of the population and increasing prevalence of obesity --- both risk factors for osteoarthritis of the knee -- "research on new approaches to prevention and treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee should be a high priority."

For a copy of Treatment of Primary and Secondary Osteoarthritis of the Knee, go to http://www.ahrq.gov/downloads/pub/evidence/pdf/oaknee/oaknee.pdf.


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SOURCE Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality
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