Osteoarthritis and mortality risk

January 01, 0001

Osteoarthritis and mortality risk

These Swiss and UK researchers performed a population based cohort study to examine mortality rates in patients with osteoarthritis. Enrollees were 35 years of age or older with symptomatic and radiologically proven knee or hip osteoarthritis (n=1163. Median follow-up was 14 years.

The researchers found: "Patients with osteoarthritis had excess all cause mortality compared with the general population (standardised mortality ratio 1.55). Excess mortality was observed for all disease specific causes of death but was particularly pronounced for cardiovascular (standardised mortality ratio 1.71) and dementia associated mortality (1.99). Mortality increased with increasing age, male sex (adjusted hazard ratio 1.59), self reported history of diabetes (1.95), cancer (2.28), cardiovascular disease (1.38), and walking disability (1.48). However, little evidence existed for increased mortality associated with previous joint replacement, obesity, depression, chronic inflammatory disease, eye disease, or presence of pain at baseline. The more severe the walking disability, the higher was the risk of death."

The researchers concluded: "Patients with osteoarthritis are at higher risk of death compared with the general population. History of diabetes, cancer, or cardiovascular disease and the presence of walking disability are major risk factors. Management of patients with osteoarthritis and walking disability should focus on effective treatment of cardiovascular risk factors and comorbidities, as well as on increasing physical activity."

This study suggests osteoarthritis is a risk factor for death, especially cardiovascular mortality, but the mechanism is unclear.

For the full abstract, click here.

BMJ 342:d1165, 8 March 2011
© 2011 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
All cause and disease specific mortality in patients with knee or hip osteoarthritis: population based cohort study. Eveline Nüesch, Paul Dieppe, Stephan Reichenbach, Susan Williams, Samuel Iff, Peter Jüni,. Correspondence to P Jüni: [email protected]

Category: M. Musculoskeletal. Keywords: osteoarthritis, mortality, cardiovascular, diabetes, dementia, cohort study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Paul Schaefer, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 22 March 2011

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.