MONDAY, Dec. 19, 2011 (HealthDay News) -- Knee pain is common in middle-aged and older women, a new study finds.
Researchers analyzed 12 years of data collected from nearly 500 women, ages 44 to 57, in Britain and found that 63 percent of those 50 and older reported persistent, incident or intermittent knee pain.
Forty-four percent of the women said they had experienced "any pain" and 23 percent said they had knee pain on most days of the previous month. Among those with "any pain" or "pain on most days," 9 percent and 2 percent had persistent pain; 24 percent and 16 percent had incident pain, and 29 percent and 18 percent had intermittent pain, respectively.
Higher body mass index, previous knee injury and radiographic osteoarthritis (OA) -- joint deterioration visible through imaging -- were predictors for persistent pain, the researchers found. Knee injury was also a predictor for intermittent pain.
The study was published Dec. 19 in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.
"Our study is the first community-based investigation of knee pain patterns using multiple assessment points over a 12-year period," lead author Dr. Nigel Arden, a professor of rheumatology at the University of Oxford, said in a journal news release.
"Understanding the prevalence and predictors of knee pain is the first step in developing comprehensive pain assessment plans that could lead to more targeted treatment options for those burdened by OA," he added.
Osteoarthritis, a leading cause of disability worldwide, affects more than 27 million Americans over age 25, according to the American College of Rheumatology.
The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases has more about knee problems.