Ten Facts on Osteoarthritis to commemorate World Arthritis Day

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Saturday, October 12, is World Arthritis Day, a day to raise global awareness for the more than 350 million individuals around the world who suffer from some form of arthritis. Of all the forms, osteoarthritis is the most common, a "wear and tear" of the joints which is the focus of so much of our work here at DePuy Synthes.

Ten facts about Osteoarthritis - Did You Know?

Osteoarthritis (often abbreviated to OA) is the most common type of arthritis (1), accounting for 50% of the total musculoskeletal disease burden and affects the lives of an estimated 10-15% of adults over the age of 60 worldwide (2).

• Currently, about 40 million people across Europe are impacted by OA, of which nearly 9 million reside in the UK (3) and over 10 million in France, a country where OA is the #2 reason for consulting a doctor (after cardiovascular diseases) (4).

• With increased life expectancy and the rising level of obesity, OA is predicted to become the 4th leading cause of disability worldwide by 2020 (1).

• Approximately 80% of those with osteoarthritis experience limitations in movement while 25% cannot perform the major activities of daily life (5).

• According to the United Nations, by 2050, people aged over 60 will account for more than 20% of the world’s population. This means that 130 million people will suffer from OA worldwide, of whom 40 million will be severely disabled by the disease (6).

• Adaptive aids and devices, medicines, surgery and time off of work will cost governments billions of dollars. On a positive note, lifetime societal savings from the more than 600,000 total knee replacements performed in the United States in 2009 were estimated to be approximately $12 billion (7).

• Osteoarthritis is the #1 cause of knee replacements and also a principal diagnosis of 90% of their recipients (6).

• The rate of hip and knee replacement has increased in many European countries, due in part to population aging but also to the growing use of these interventions to improve functioning among elderly people. In Denmark, the hip replacement rate increased by 40% between 2000 and 2010, while the knee replacement rate more than tripled. In the same period in Spain the hip replacement rate increased by 25% and the knee replacement rate more than doubled (8).

• A similar trend was observed in other countries, resulting in a projection of a potential four-fold growth in demand for knee arthroplasty in OECD countries by 2030 (9).

• The impact of musculoskeletal disorders on individuals and society is expected to increase dramatically. Conditions such as aging of global population and obesity will further deepen the burden. So will the change of lifestyle, taking place due to urbanization and motorization.

Walking, a challenge for those who suffer from osteoarthritis, is something most of us do without even thinking about it. Doctors often recommend walking for people impacted by arthritis because it can reduce joint pain and stiffness.

A day ahead of World Arthritis Day, walk!

1. Osteoarthritis in Europe: impact on health status, work productivity and use of pharmacotherapies in five European countries, 2014, SR Kingsbury
2. Background paper 6.12. Osteoarthritis. 2013, R.Wittenauer
3. NHS report https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/arthritis/
4. White Paper of the "Etats généraux" of Osteoarthritis 2015-2016 edited by AFLAR
5. The Epidemiology and Impact of Pain in Osteoarthritis, 2013, Tuhina Neogi
6. Medicographia, 2013
7. Risk factors and burden of osteoarthritis, 2016, C. Palazzo
8. Health at a Glance: “Hip and knee replacement”: Europe 2012, OECD Publishing
9. Utilization rates of knee-arthroplasty in OECD countries, 2015, C. Pabinger