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CDC Shows a 40% Lifetime Risk of Symptomatic Hand Osteoarthritis

Qin and colleagues have published in Arthritis & Rheumatology that 40% of people will be affected by symptomatic osteoarthritis in at least one hand.  (Citation source:  

They analyzed 2,218 adults ≥ 45 years from the Johnston County (NC) Osteoarthritis Project, specifically collecting looking for symptomatic hand OA (SHOA) over two time frames (1999-2004 and 2005-2010). SHOA was defined as having both self-reported symptoms and radiographic OA in the same hand.

The found the lifetime risk of SHOA is 39.8% with greater frequency in women as they age.  Women by age 85 yrs had a 47.2% frequency of SHOA compared to only 24.6% in men.

Hand OA was more common in whites moreso than blacks (41.4% vs 29.2%, respectively). The lifetime risk in the obese was 47.1 percent, compared to 36.1 percent for non-obese people.

Hand OA represents a significant publich health problem for which there are few, if any, credible treatment options.  Dr. Marc Hochberg and coworkers at OARSI have submitted a 103 page "white paper" to  FDA to designate OA as a "Serious Disease", staging that OA is a "serious disease for which there are no current satisfactory treatments". (Citation source:


The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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