Association of radiographic and symptomatic knee osteoarthritis with health-related quality of life in a population-based cohort study in Japan: the ROAD study

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2010 Sep;18(9):1227-34. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2010.06.001. Epub 2010 Jul 13.


Objective: Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a major public health issue causing chronic pain and disability. However, there is little information on the impact of this disease on quality of life (QOL) in Japanese men and women. The objective of the present study was to clarify the impact of radiographic and symptomatic knee OA on QOL in Japan.

Methods: This study examined the association of radiographic and symptomatic knee OA with QOL parameters such as the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-8 (SF-8), EuroQOL (EQ-5D) and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC). Radiographic knee OA was defined according to Kellgren/Lawrence (KL) grades, and symptomatic knee OA was defined as KL=3 or 4 with knee pain. We also examined the independent association of symptomatic knee OA and grip strength with QOL.

Results: From the 3040 participants in the Research on Osteoarthritis Against Disability (ROAD) study, the present study analyzed 2126 subjects older than 40 years who completed the questionnaires (767 men and 1359 women; mean age, 68.9+/-10.9 years). Subjects with KL=3 or 4 had significantly lower physical QOL as measured by the physical component summary (PCS) score of the SF-8 and pain domains of the WOMAC, whereas mental QOL, as measured by the mental component summary (MCS) score of the SF-8, was higher in subjects with KL=3 or 4 than KL=0 or 1. Symptomatic knee OA was significantly more likely than radiographic knee OA without pain to be associated with physical QOL loss as measured by the PCS score and physical domains of the WOMAC. Symptomatic knee OA and grip strength were independently associated with physical QOL.

Conclusion: This cross-sectional study revealed that subjects with symptomatic knee OA had significantly lower physical QOL than subjects without it.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian People
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / physiopathology*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Pain / psychology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Quality of Life*
  • Radiography
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult