Objectives To estimate the prevalence of symptomatic knee and distal interphalangeal joint (DIP) osteoarthritis (OA) in the urban population of Antalya.
Methods This cross-sectional study, as part of a continuing larger study, aimed to evaluate the prevalence of symptomatic knee and DIP OA in the elderly urban population of Antalya (508.840 population according to 1997 national census). By random cluster sampling based on the registries of local offices of the Ministry of Health, 267 individuals aged 50 or over (146 men, 121 women) were interviewed face to face by 10 physicians and 20 medical students trained for the study. The individuals were subjected to a questionnaire regarding knee pain, worsening pain on exertion and gelling phenomenon. They were also asked about their occupational status and performing namaz (an Islamic ritual based on bodily movements). If they reported any swelling in their hand joints, a physician simultaneously inspected the DIP joints for nodular swelling. In the case of suspicion for knee OA, individuals were invited to the hospital for further evaluation by physical examination and direct roentgenogram.
Results Knee pain was reported in 38(28,4%) of men and 74(63,8%) of women. Of women, 64(57,1%) had worsened knee pain on exertion and 59(51,3%) defined gelling, and in men these figures were 26(20,5%) and 28(21,5%), respectively. The prevalence of knee osteoarthritis was determined as 26,4% in women and 6,2% in men (15,4% of total). The DIP OA was observed in 5(3,8%) of men and 30(26,3%) of women.
Conclusion OA is a major health problem in the elderly population, especially in more than one fourth of the women aged 50 or over.
This study is supported by the Akdeniz University Research Fund.
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