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Daily Dose: Osteoarthritis Estimated to Affect Nearly 1 Billion by 2050

Daily Dose: Osteoarthritis Estimated to Affect Nearly 1 Billion by 2050 / Image Credit: ©New Africa/AdobeStock

©New Africa/AdobeStock

Patient Care brings primary care clinicians a lot of medical news every day—it’s easy to miss an important study. The Daily Dose provides a concise summary of one of the website's leading stories you may not have seen.

Last week, we reported on a study published in The Lancet Rheumatology that aimed to update the last osteoarthritis-specific report of estimates for the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study 2010 and GBD 2017 and to report on the prevalence and burden of osteoarthritis (OA) in 2020, on trends between 1990 and 2020, the contribution of elevated body mass index (BMI) to OA, and project prevalence and impacts of the disease to 2050.

The study

Investigators searched PubMed for studies between 1980 and 2019, extracting data to produce prevalence estimates for each OA site between 1990 and 2020, across the age range (>30 years) and across sexes. Data were included from 26 countries for knee OA, 23 countries for hip OA, 42 countries for hand OA and US insurance claims for all OA sites. The researchers used population estimates to forecast the global OA disease burden, with socioeconomic factors as predictors. Years lived with disability (YLDs) were calculated my multiplying final prevalence estimates by disability weights.

The findings

The researchers reported that about 595 million patients were living with OA in 2020 (95% uncertainty interval; 535-656), representing an increase in cases of about 132.2% (95% UI; 130.3-134.1) since 1990. The total number of cases is expected to rise to about 1 billion by 2050.

Specifically, cases of knee OA are expected to increase 74.9%, hand OA cases to increase 48.6%, and cases of hip OA are expected to rise 78.6%. “Other” types of OA are expected to increase by 95.1%.

Globally, the age-standardized rate of YLDs for total osteoarthritis was 255 YLDs per 100 000 in 2020, an increase of 9.5% from 1990 (233 YLDs per 100 000). OA was ranked 7th as cause of YLDs among adults aged 70 years and older.

Authors' commentary

"Because there is no known cure for osteoarthritis and no proven structure-modifying interventions, this burden represents a major challenge to health systems. Population and health-systems approaches adaptable to all regions must address osteoarthritis at all stages from prevention strategies addressing modifiable risk factors to multimodal integrated education and care to improve pain and disability, and timely and equitable access to joint-replacement surgery."

Click here for more details.

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