Current and future impact of osteoarthritis on health care: a population-based study with projections to year 2032

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2014 Nov;22(11):1826-32. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2014.07.015. Epub 2014 Jul 30.


Objective: To estimate the current and future (to year 2032) impact of osteoarthritis (OA) health care seeking.

Method: Population-based study with prospectively ascertained data from the Skåne Healthcare Register (SHR), Sweden, encompassing more than 15 million person-years of primary and specialist outpatient care and hospitalizations. We studied all Skåne region residents aged ≥45 by the end of 2012 (n = 531, 254) and determined the prevalence of doctor-diagnosed OA defined as the proportion of the prevalent population that had received a diagnosis of OA of the knee, hip, hand, or other locations except the spine between 1999 and 2012. We projected consultation prevalence of OA until year 2032 using Statistics Sweden's (SCB) projected age and sex structure and prevalence of overweight and obesity.

Results: In 2012 the proportion of population aged ≥45 with any doctor-diagnosed OA was 26.6% (95% confidence interval (CI): 26.5-26.8) (men 22.4%, women 30.5%). The most common locations were knee (13.8%), hip (5.8%) and hand (3.1%). Of the prevalent cases 26.8% had OA in multiple joints. By the year 2032, the proportion of the population aged ≥45 with doctor-diagnosed OA is estimated to increase from 26.6% to 29.5% (any location), from 13.8% to 15.7% for the knee and 5.8-6.9% for the hip.

Conclusion: In 2032, at least an additional 26,000 individuals per 1 million population aged ≥45 years are estimated to have consulted a physician for OA in a peripheral joint compared to 2012. These findings underscore the need to address modifiable risk factors and develop new effective OA treatments.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Knee osteoarthritis; Osteoarthritis.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Delivery of Health Care / trends*
  • Female
  • Forecasting*
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / epidemiology*
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors