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Identifying Predictors of Osteoarthritis

Identifying Predictors of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a significant health problem, with studies suggesting that the condition affects up to 10% of men and 18% of women over the age of 60. Previous research has suggested that some physical risk factors may be associated with a higher rate of early onset OA. “There is an increasing need to address joint damage and its relationship to injuries, participation in sports, being physically active, being overweight or obese, and occupational activity so that we can better inform patients on strategies to prevent OA,” says Sarah A. Richmond, CEP, MSc, PhD. “This information can also help clinicians address the rising healthcare burden associated with OA.” New Data In the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, Dr. Richmond and colleagues published a systematic review and meta-analysis that addressed this issue. According to the results, there was an increased risk for either knee or hip OA in individuals with previous joint injuries, those who were overweight or obese, and those who had physically demanding occupations, especially jobs that involved squatting or kneeling activities. Some findings, however, remain inconclusive, including levels of physical activity and sport-specificity in individuals who did not suffer an injury.   “Overall, joint injury was a significant risk factor for knee OA, with individuals who had suffered a previous knee injury at a three- to eight-fold greater risk of OA than individuals with no history of injury,” Dr. Richmond says. Joint injury was also a risk factor for hip OA, as was previous meniscectomy with or without ACL injury. Important Implications Dr. Richmond notes that a clear understanding of the implications of the risk...
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