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Prevalence and distribution of osteoarthritis in a population from Georgian and early Victorian London.
  1. H A Waldron
  1. St Mary's Hospital, London.


    The prevalence of osteoarthritis was calculated in adult skeletons excavated from the crypt of Christ Church, Spitalfields in east London, which was used for burial between 1729 and 1869. Age and sex specific prevalences were also calculated for a subsample of the group for whom age and sex were accurately known from surviving coffin plates. Prevalences were slightly higher in men than in women, except for generalised osteoarthritis. The principal sites affected were the acromioclavicular joints, the facet joints of the spine, and the hands. Osteoarthritis of the large joints was relatively uncommon; osteoarthritis of the hip occurred in 4/360 (1.1%) of men and 10/346 (2.9%) of women and of the knee in 3/360 (0.8%) of men and 18/346 (5.2%) of women. This last difference was statistically significant. A comparison with modern data suggests that the prevalence of osteoarthritis at Spitalfields was lower than in the contemporary population, and some explanations for this apparent difference are considered.

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