THURSDAY, March 17, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Osteoarthritis (OA) remains a global public health concern and its prevalence has increased since 1990, according to a study published online March 1 in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Huibin Long, M.D., from Capital Medical University in Beijing, and colleagues derived data from the Global Burden of Disease study 2019 and described trends in OA at global, regional, and national levels.

The researchers found that from 1990 to 2019, there was a 113.25 percent increase in prevalent cases of OA globally, from 247.51 to 527.81 million, respectively. Age-standardized prevalence rates (ASRs) were 6,173.38 and 6,348.25 per 100,000 in 1990 and 2019, respectively, with a 0.12 percent average annual increase. For knee, hip, and other joints, the ASR of OA increased, while for hand OA, the ASR decreased, with estimated annual percentage changes (EAPC) of 0.32, 0.28, 0.18, and −0.36, respectively. There was an increase in prevalence noted with age, and female preponderance, geographic diversity, and site disparity were observed. The greatest contribution to the overall burden was for knee OA, while in most regions, OA of the hip had the highest EAPC.

“The disease burden of osteoarthritis is formidable,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Due to population expansion, aging, and the epidemic of obesity, one would expect such a burden would increase in the near future.”

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