Osteoarthritis is a serious disease

Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2019 Sep-Oct;37 Suppl 120(5):3-6. Epub 2019 Oct 14.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, affecting 1 in 3 people over age 65 and women more so than men. The prevalence of OA is rising due, in part, to the increasing prevalence of OA risk factors, including obesity, physical inactivity, and joint injury. OA-related joint pain causes functional limitations, poor sleep, fatigue, depressed mood and loss of independence. Compared to age and sex-matched peers, OA patients incur higher out of pocket health-related expenditures and substantial costs due to lost productivity. Most people with OA (59-87%) have at least one other chronic condition, especially cardiometabolic conditions. Symptomatic OA may impair the ability of people with cardiometabolic conditions to exercise and lose weight, resulting in increased risk for poor outcomes. People with OA and other chonic conditions are less likely to receive a diagnosis or recommended treatment. Further, in these individuals the most effective and safest treatment is physical activity/exercise coupled with self-management strategies, which is only moderately effective. Given the already high, and growing, burden of OA, enhanced effort is required to identify better - more effective and safe - treatments for the majority of people with OA who are living with other chronic conditions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthralgia / epidemiology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cost of Illness
  • Female
  • Health Expenditures*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteoarthritis* / economics
  • Osteoarthritis* / epidemiology
  • Prevalence