Publication in Arthritis Care & Research

The number of persons with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis in the United States: Impact of race/ethnicity, age, sex, and obesity

In this paper, published in December 2016 in Arthritis Care & Research, we used the OAPol model to estimate the number of persons with symptomatic knee OA in the United States.

Why This Estimate Matters

Previous estimates of the burden of knee osteoarthritis in the United States have not provided age and sex stratified estimates. Understanding the demographic characteristics of people with OA and severe OA will allow better predictions about what healthcare resources will be necessary in the coming years.

How the Study Was Designed

We used the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to calculated the proportion of adults with  knee OA in 2007-2008. We used the OAPol model and published data on knee OA progression to estimate the proportion of people living with severe OA. We then multiplied the proportions by population estimates from the US Census bureau.

Our Conclusions

We found that 14 million people have symptomatic knee OA, and half are under 65 years old. These results suggest that health care utilization for knee OA will increase over the coming decades and they emphasize the need for new prevention and treatment strategies.