Adults With Knee Osteoarthritis (OA) Have Higher Mortality Risk, Experts Say

A recent study suggests that adults with or at risk of knee osteoarthritis (OA) who walk slower than 1.22 m/s at present, face a higher mortality risk, regardless of decline over the previous year.

Photo: Knee Osteoarthritis | InStyleHealth



Osteoarthritis (OA) is considered the most common form of arthritis in the knee. It is a degenerative, meaning it is a “wear-and-tear" type of arthritis that happens most often in people 50 years of age and older, although it may occur in younger people, too. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the knee joint gradually deteriorates.


Researchers used the data available from the Osteoarthritis Initiative and defined slow versus adequate walking as walking >1.22 m/s on a 20 m walk test during the 12-month follow-up visit. Meaningful decline was defined as slowing >0.8 m/s over the past year.


Researchers noted that, adequate sustainers – were classified as those with adequate walking speed and no meaningful decline, slow sustainers – as slow walking speed and no meaningful decline, adequate decliners – as adequate walking speed and meaningful decline, and slow decliners – as slow walking spend and meaningful decline.


The researchers recorded mortality over 11 years. They also examined the association or correlation of walking speed with mortality using Cox regression.


There was a total of 4,229 participants involved in the study with average age of 62 years old, with average body mass index (BMI) of 29 kg/m2. Of those who were subject of the study, 6 percent or 270 died over the course of 11 years.


The slow sustainers and slow decliners had a twofold increased risk of mortality than adequate sustainers. Comparing it with the adequate sustainers, adequate decliners had 0.43 times risk of mortality, according to the researchers.

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