December 12, 2017
Osteoarthritis on the Rise
Health News

Osteoarthritis on the Rise

by Berkeley Wellness  

Americans are twice as likely to develop osteoarthritis of the knee as their counterparts before World War II, according to a Harvard study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences—and it’s not only because they are living longer and getting heavier, as is commonly assumed.

The researchers examined 2,400 skeletons of people from across the U.S. who died during the last 200 years; all were over age 50, with known heights and weights. They found that until the mid-20th century the prevalence of the disease was fairly stable, but that it has doubled since then, even after accounting for age and body mass index.

They hypothesized that physical inactivity may be a factor because it can result in thinner cartilage and weaker muscles that stabilize the knee joint, and it can contribute to low-grade inflammation.

Also see Strength Training for Knee Arthritis.