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Hip and knee osteoarthritis on the rise – UK study

By Ella Pickover, PA Health Correspondent

Cases of hip and knee osteoarthritis are increasing, a new study suggests.

Across the globe, there has been a rise of almost 10% since 1990, researchers said.

And women are disproportionately affected.

Osteoarthritis causes pain and stiffness in joints, which can make it difficult to move and do certain activities.

The authors of the study, published in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, said that osteoarthritis is a “major public health challenge” and that the “burden is increasing in most countries”.

The study examined data on 195 countries between 1990 and 2017.

Analysis of the data showed increases in both rates of disease and the number of years people lived with disability.

There were more than 300 million hip and knee osteoarthritis cases around the world in 2017 – a 9.3% increase from 1990.

Prevalence was higher in older women, the authors said.

The international group of researchers conclude: “Osteoarthritis (OA) is a major public health challenge.

“While there is remarkable international variation in the prevalence, incidence and years lived with disability due to OA, the burden is increasing in most countries.

“It is expected to continue with increased life expectancy and ageing of the global population.

“Improving population and policy maker awareness of risk factors, including overweight and injury, and the importance and benefits of management of OA, together with providing health services for an increasing number of people living with OA, are recommended for management of the future burden of this condition.”