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Global, regional and national burden of osteoarthritis 1990-2017: a systematic analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017


Objectives To report the level and trends of prevalence, incidence and years lived with disability (YLDs) for osteoarthritis (OA) in 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2017 by age, sex and Socio-demographic index (SDI; a composite of sociodemographic factors).

Methods Publicly available modelled data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2017 were used. The burden of OA was estimated for 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2017, through a systematic analysis of prevalence and incidence modelled data using the methods reported in the GBD 2017 Study. All estimates were presented as counts and age-standardised rates per 100 000 population, with uncertainty intervals (UIs).

Results Globally, the age-standardised point prevalence and annual incidence rate of OA in 2017 were 3754.2 (95% UI 3389.4 to 4187.6) and 181.2 (95% UI 162.6 to 202.4) per 100 000, an increase of 9.3% (95% UI 8% to 10.7%) and 8.2% (95% UI 7.1% to 9.4%) from 1990, respectively. In addition, global age-standardised YLD rate in 2017 was 118.8 (95% UI 59.5 to 236.2), an increase of 9.6% (95% UI 8.3% to 11.1%) from 1990. The global prevalence was higher in women and increased with age, peaking at the >95 age group among women and men in 2017. Generally, a positive association was found between the age-standardised YLD rate and SDI at the regional and national levels. Age-standardised prevalence of OA in 2017 ranged from 2090.3 to 6128.1 cases per 100 000 population. United States (6128.1 (95% UI 5729.3 to 6582.9)), American Samoa (5281 (95% UI 4688 to 5965.9)) and Kuwait (5234.6 (95% UI 4643.2 to 5953.6)) had the three highest levels of age-standardised prevalence. Oman (29.6% (95% UI 24.8% to 34.9%)), Equatorial Guinea (28.6% (95% UI 24.4% to 33.7%)) and the United States 23.2% (95% UI 16.4% to 30.5%)) showed the highest increase in the age-standardised prevalence during 1990–2017.

Conclusions OA is a major public health challenge. While there is remarkable international variation in the prevalence, incidence and YLDs due to OA, the burden is increasing in most countries. It is expected to continue with increased life expectancy and ageing of the global population. Improving population and policy maker awareness of risk factors, including overweight and injury, and the importance and benefits of management of OA, together with providing health services for an increasing number of people living with OA, are recommended for management of the future burden of this condition.

  • epidemiology
  • knee osteoarthritis
  • osteoarthritis

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