Epidemiology of hip and knee pain in a community based sample of Italian persons aged 65 and older

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2008 Sep;16(9):1039-46. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2008.01.008. Epub 2008 Mar 17.


Objective: To describe prevalence, characteristics and correlates of hip pain (HP) and knee pain (KP) in an Italian community based cohort aged 65 and older (65+).

Method: Baseline survey (1998-2000), population-based study in the Chianti area (Tuscany, Italy); 1299 persons aged 65+ were selected from the city registry of Greve in Chianti and Bagno a Ripoli (multistage sampling method); 1006 participants (564 women and 442 men, age 75.2+/-7.1) provided information for this analysis. Persons reporting HP/KP in the past 4 weeks were recorded and their Western Ontario and McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index pain score (WPS-range 0-20) calculated. Potential correlates of HP/KP, including clinical, lifestyle and psycho-social features and physical measures, were tested in age- and gender-adjusted regression analyses and then entered a multivariate regression model.

Results: HP was reported by 11.9% participants, while 22.4% reported KP and 7.2% both conditions. Climbing/descending stairs and walking were the activities eliciting more severe pain in either condition. Average WPSs were 5.6+/-3.5 for HP and 5.4+/-10.4 for KP. Both HP and KP were related to back pain, reduced hip abduction, reduced muscle power and increased trunk flexibility. HP was also related to KP and poor self-rated health (SRH), while KP to HP, foot pain, high body mass index, reduced knee passive flexion and knee extension torque, low education.

Conclusion: In a community sample of an Italian persons aged 65+, the prevalence of KP almost doubled that of HP. While both conditions were related to pain in other joints and specific joint impairment, only HP was related to poor SRH, and only KP to mechanical overload.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Back Pain / epidemiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Hip / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Stress, Mechanical