Incidence of symptomatic hand, hip, and knee osteoarthritis among patients in a health maintenance organization

Arthritis Rheum. 1995 Aug;38(8):1134-41. doi: 10.1002/art.1780380817.


Objective: To quantify the incidence of symptomatic hand, hip, and knee osteoarthritis (OA) among members of the Fallon Community Health Plan, a health maintenance organization located in central Massachusetts.

Methods: Incident OA was defined as the first evidence of OA by radiography (grade > or = 2 on the Kellgren-Lawrence scale of 0-4) plus joint symptoms at the time the radiograph was obtained or up to 1 year before the radiograph was obtained.

Results: The age- and sex-standardized incidence rate for hand OA was 100/100,000 person-years (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 86, 115), for hip OA 88/100,000 person-years (95% CI 75, 101), and for knee OA 240/100,000 person-years (95% CI 218, 262). The incidence of hand, hip, and knee OA increased with age, and women had higher rates than men, especially after age 50. A leveling off or decline occurred for both groups around the age of 80.

Conclusion: In a large study of symptomatic OA we observed incidence rates that increased with age. In women ages 70-89, the incidence of knee OA approached 1% per year.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Finger Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Hand* / diagnostic imaging
  • Health Maintenance Organizations*
  • Hip Joint* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Knee Joint* / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoarthritis / epidemiology*
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / epidemiology
  • Radiography
  • Sex Distribution