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ACR: Lifetime Risk of Osteoarthritis is 24 Percent

One in three obese Americans will develop the condition

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Almost one in four people who live to the age of 85 will develop osteoarthritis, and the risk for those who are obese is more than one in three, according to a paper presented at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting held Nov. 10-15 in Washington, D.C.

Louise Murphy, Ph.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues examined 3,069 participants from the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project for symptomatic hip osteoarthritis at the start of the study and an average of six years later. The patients were 45 to 94 years old, with 57 percent women and 18 percent blacks.

The lifetime risk of developing osteoarthritis -- defined as the probability of developing the condition between 45 and 85 -- was 24 percent, ranging from 18 percent for those with a body mass index in the normal range to 38 percent for those who were obese. The risk for women was higher than that of men -- 26 percent versus 18 percent. But the risk was similar for blacks and whites -- 24 percent versus 21 percent.

"Our results show another major public health problem associated with the aging population, one that may be aggravated by overweight and obesity," Murphy said in a statement.

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