Arthritis of The Knee Affecting Younger People, Research Finds
Arthritis of the knee is affecting Americans at younger ages, new research has found, but shedding excess weight may reduce people’s risk.
The preliminary studies were to be presented Saturday at the American College of Rheumatology annual meeting, in Chicago.
Almost 6.5 million Americans between the ages of 35 and 84 will receive a diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis in the next decade, according to these new projections.
Study author Dr. Elena Losina, co-director of the Orthopedics and Arthritis Center for Outcomes Research at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said, “The diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis is occurring much earlier.”
She said that when she compared the age at diagnosis in the 1990s to ages in the 2010s, "the average age at diagnosis has moved from 69 to 56,” HealthDay reports.
Losina also found that adults aged 45 to 54 will account for nearly 5 percent of all knee osteoarthritis (OA) cases in the 2010s, while they represented only 1.5 percent of the knee OA patients in the 1990s.
Losina suspects that obesity and knee injuries, both of which have become more common in the past decade, may be helping to drive the increase in knee OA among younger people.
For those who already have knee OA, Losina said the best solution may be weight loss if they are overweight, and exercise, reports HealthDay.