Most common form of arthritis affects 15% of the global population over the age of 30
A new study projects nearly 1 billion people will be living with osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, by 2050. Currently, 15% of individuals aged 30 and older experience osteoarthritis. The research, published in The Lancet Rheumatology, analyzed 30 years of osteoarthritis data covering more than 200 countries and was led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).
The study found that cases increased rapidly over the past three decades because of three main factors: aging, population growth, and obesity.
The most common areas for osteoarthritis are knees and hips. By 2050, osteoarthritis is projected to increase by the following percentages based on problem areas of the human body.
♦ Knee +74.9%
♦ Hand +48.6%
♦ Hip +78.6%
♦ Other (e.g., elbow, shoulder) +95.1%
More women than men are expected to continue grappling with this condition. In 2020, 61% of osteoarthritis cases were in women versus 39% in men.
This study shows that obesity or high body mass index (BMI) is an important risk factor for osteoarthritis. If obesity can effectively be addressed in the global population, the osteoarthritis burden would decrease by an estimated 20%. The research also shows that obesity has played a greater role over time as rates of obesity have increased.
Reference: Global, regional, and national burden of osteoarthritis, 1990-2020 and projections to 2050: a systematic analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2021, The Lancet Rheumatology (https://doi.org/10.1016/S2665-9913(23)00163-7)
B.Sc Life Sciences, M.Sc Biotechnology, B.Ed